best way to dynamically update a line handles' XData and YData?

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Clayton Chu
Clayton Chu on 16 Sep 2011
Commented: Nick Gallo on 22 Jan 2020
I am collecting data and plotting that data in real time. The data are produced by a motion capture system. I have one class DynamicDataset that is just a wrapper around a 2-column matrix (although it's more nuanced than that) with an event notifier for new data added; another class DynamicPlotter that listens for the data-added event and updates the plot dynamically. Appropriate code snippets:
classdef DynamicDataset < handle
newestData = [];
data = []
function append(obj, val),:) = val;
obj.newestData = val;
notify(obj, 'DataAdded');
classdef DynamicPlotter < dynamicprops
FH %# figure handle
AH %# axes handle
LH %# array of line handles - may have multiple lines on the plot
dynProps = {} % cell array of dynamic property names -
% use to access individual datasets
function obj = DynamicPlotter(props) % props is a cell array of
% dynamic properties to store
% information
for i = 1:length(props)
addprop(obj, props{i});
obj.(props{i}) = DynamicDataset;
obj.dynProps = [obj.dynProps props{i}];
addlistener(obj.(names{i}), 'DataAdded', ...
function createBlankPlot(obj)
obj.FH = figure;
obj.AH = axes;
hold all;
for i = 1:length(obj.dynProps)
obj.LH(i) = plot(nan); % only used to produce a line handle
set(obj.LH(i), 'XData', [], 'YData', []);
function updatePlot(obj, propNum)
X = get(obj.LH(propNum), 'XData');
Y = get(obj.LH(propNum), 'YData');
X(end+1) = obj.(dynProps{propNum}).newestData(1);
Y(end+1) = obj.(dynProps{propNum}).newestData(2);
set(obj.LH(propNum), 'XData', X, 'YData', Y);
Based on the MATLAB Code Profile, the set command in updatePlot() is rather expensive. I am wondering if there is a better way to plot individual points as they come? Ideally I would push the single point into XData and YData and draw that point only, but I don't know if this is possible.
Please note that there may be multiple lineseries objects (i.e., multiple graphs on the same plot); plot() takes an axes handle as an argument, so it wouldn't consider the properties of the previously drawn line handles (or is there a way to make it do so?); I thought of just doing plot(x,y);hold all; but that would give me separate line handles every time, each corresponding to a single point.
It might be that there's no way to make plotting incoming points any faster, but I figured I'd ask.

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Answers (2)

Steven Lord
Steven Lord on 17 May 2016
For the benefit of the original poster (if they reread a nearly 5 year old message) or others who have the same general question, consider if an animatedline will do what you need/want.

Kevin Claytor
Kevin Claytor on 17 May 2016
Using the HG2 dot notation may speed things up enough for you (see handle class properties );
function updatePlot(obj, propNum)
lh = obj.LH(propNum);
new_x = obj.(dynProps{propNum}).newestData(1);
new_y = obj.(dynProps{propNum}).newestData(2);
lh.XData = [lh.XData, new_x];
lh.YData = [lh.YData, new_y];
If it does speed things up for you, I'd be curious how much, I've not yet done a side-by-side comparison.


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