(This article was first published on

**Last Resort Software**, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)After the previous post on the packcircles package for R someone suggested it would be useful to be able to fix the position of selected circles. As a first attempt, I’ve added an optional `weights`

argument to the `circleLayout`

function. Weights can be in the range 0-1 inclusive, where a weight of 0 prevents a circle from moving, while a weight of 1 allows full movement. The updated code is at GitHub.

Here’s an example where the largest of a set of initially overlapping circles is fixed in place:

And here is the code for the example:

library(packcircles)

library(ggplot2)

library(gridExtra)

# Generate some random overlapping circles

ncircles <- 200

limits <- c(-50, 50)

inset <- diff(limits) / 3

rmax <- 20

xyr <- data.frame(

x = runif(ncircles, min(limits) + inset, max(limits) - inset),

y = runif(ncircles, min(limits) + inset, max(limits) - inset),

r = rbeta(ncircles, 1, 10) * rmax)

# Index of the largest circle

largest.id <- which(xyr$r == max(xyr$r))

## Generate plot data for the `before` layout

dat.before <- circlePlotData(xyr)

# Add a column to the plot data for the 'before' circles

# to indicate whether a circle is static of free to move

dat.before$state <- ifelse(dat.before$id == largest.id, "static", "free")

# Run the layout algorithm with a weights vector to fix the position

# of the largest circle

wts <- rep(1.0, nrow(xyr))

wts[ largest.id ] <- 0.0

res <- circleLayout(xyr, limits, limits, maxiter = 1000, weights=wts)

# A plot function to colour circles based on the state column

doPlot <- function(dat, title)

ggplot(dat) +

geom_polygon(aes(x, y, group=id, fill=state), colour="brown1") +

scale_fill_manual(values=c("NA", "brown4")) +

coord_equal(xlim=limits, ylim=limits) +

theme_bw() +

theme(axis.text=element_blank(),

axis.ticks=element_blank(),

axis.title=element_blank(),

legend.position="none") +

labs(title=title)

g.before <- doPlot(dat.before, "before")

# Generate a plot for the 'after' circles

dat.after <- circlePlotData(res$layout)

dat.after$state <- ifelse(dat.after$id == largest.id, "static", "free")

g.after <- doPlot(dat.after, "after")

grid.arrange(g.before, g.after, nrow=1)

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