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Boxplots are based on percentiles and give a quick way to visualise the distribution of the data. Percentiles signifies the value such that P percent of the values takes this value or less and (100-P) percent of the values takes this value or more.
As you can see in the figure, the top and the bottom of the box are the 75th and 25th percentiles, respectively. The median is shown by the horizontal line in the box. The dashed lines, referred to as whiskers, extend from the top and bottom to indicate the range for the bulk of the data.
There are many variations of a box plot. By default, the R function extends the whiskers to the furthest point beyond the box, except that it will not go beyond 1.5 times the IQR (it is the difference of the 75th percentile and 25th percentile). Any data outside of the whiskers is plotted as single points.
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