Alluvial Diagrams

Creating alluvial diagrams (also known as parallel sets plots) for multivariate and time series-like data.

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What are alluvial diagrams? See for example:


Alluvial diagram of datasets::Titanic data made with alluvial(). Notice how each category block becomes a stacked barchart showing relative frequency of survivors.

tit <- tibble::as_data_frame(Titanic)
tit %>% head() %>% knitr::kable()
Class Sex Age Survived n
1st Male Child No 0
2nd Male Child No 0
3rd Male Child No 35
Crew Male Child No 0
1st Female Child No 0
2nd Female Child No 0
    select(tit, Survived, Sex, Age, Class),
    col = ifelse(tit$Survived == "Yes", "orange", "grey"),
    border = ifelse(tit$Survived == "Yes", "orange", "grey"),
    layer = tit$Survived != "Yes",
    alpha = 0.8,

plot of chunk alluvial

Alluvial diagram for multiple time series / cross-sectional data based on alluvial::Refugees data made with alluvial_ts().

Refugees %>% head() %>% knitr::kable()
country year refugees
Afghanistan 2003 2136043
Burundi 2003 531637
Congo DRC 2003 453465
Iraq 2003 368580
Myanmar 2003 151384
Palestine 2003 350568
set.seed(39) # for nice colours
cols <- hsv(h = sample(1:10/10), s = sample(3:12)/15, v = sample(3:12)/15)
alluvial_ts(Refugees, wave = .3, ygap = 5, col = cols, plotdir = 'centred', alpha=.9,
            grid = TRUE, grid.lwd = 5, xmargin = 0.2, lab.cex = .7, xlab = '',
            ylab = '', border = NA, axis.cex = .8, leg.cex = .7,
            title = "UNHCR-recognised refugees\nTop 10 countries (2003-13)\n")

plot of chunk alluvial_ts


Using "devtools" package:



alluvial 0.1-2

New features

  • There is a vignette vignette("alluvial", package="alluvial") illustrating basic usage of alluvial(). The vignette needs dplyr package so it is now Suggested.

Minor updates

  • README has been updated. It is dynamically generated from an associated .Rmd file. Some typos fixed.

alluvial 0.1-1

First release.

Reference manual

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0.1-2 by Michal Bojanowski, a year ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Michal Bojanowski [aut, cre], Robin Edwards [aut]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

MIT + file LICENSE license

Suggests devtools, testthat, reshape2, knitr, rmarkdown, dplyr

Suggested by ggalluvial, rcv.

See at CRAN