21 April 2019

How to dynamically update matplotlib plot in Python?

When you first start using matplotlib and plot a graph, it can get annoying to find out that the code control doesn't move forward until you close the plot window. There are obvious alternatives like using show(block=True) or functions like ion(), but I found that the fastest is to use blit, because it updates only the portions of the graph that needs to be updated. You could try timing it to check.



import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from matplotlib.animation import FuncAnimation

fig, ax = plt.subplots()
xdata, ydata = [], []
ln, = plt.plot([], [], 'ro')

def init():
    ax.set_xlim(0, 2*np.pi)
    ax.set_ylim(-1, 1)
    return ln,

def update(frame):
    xdata.append(frame)
    ydata.append(np.sin(frame))
    ln.set_data(xdata, ydata)
    return ln,

ani = FuncAnimation(fig, update, frames=np.linspace(0, 2*np.pi, 128),
                    init_func=init, blit=True)
plt.show()
 

There are also some other simpler (but slower) examples I found on StackOverflow:

#----scatter plot randomly
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.axis([0, 10, 0, 1])

for i in range(10):
    y = np.random.random()
    plt.scatter(i, y)
    plt.pause(0.05)

plt.show()


and

#---plot random graph
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

plt.ion()
for i in range(50):
    y = np.random.random([10,1])
    plt.plot(y)
    plt.draw()
    plt.pause(0.0001)
    plt.clf()

and one with a dynamically scaling axis:

#----using animation and autoscale. The best yet
from datetime import datetime
from matplotlib import pyplot
from matplotlib.animation import FuncAnimation
from random import randrange

x_data, y_data = [], []

figure = pyplot.figure()
line, = pyplot.plot_date(x_data, y_data, '-')

def update(frame):
    x_data.append(datetime.now())
    y_data.append(randrange(0, 100))
    line.set_data(x_data, y_data)
    figure.gca().relim()
    figure.gca().autoscale_view()
    return line,

animation = FuncAnimation(figure, update, interval=200)

pyplot.show()