I have a dataset, it has the problem that data changes overtime.

enter image description here

In the pic above, the distribution is plotted every 5 years, and it could be seen that the distribution is not constant, it changes over time?

How should I describe it? I used to call it time shift, but it seems not very proper? I need a short title to put it in a sub-title in my paper.

  • "Change in [Noun] over Time"
    – ringo
    May 5, 2016 at 2:29
  • I agree with @ringo that labeling it change over or though time is the best approach if it is the change you wish to focus on. However, I see remarkable underlying stability such that a model derived from among all the "blue" data or all the "green" data would be fairly accurate in predicting the next instance. But I think in biological terms.
    – KWinker
    May 5, 2016 at 4:36
  • @ringo, the left is speed, and the right is direction distribution. I'm afraid that Change in speed and direction over time is a bit long for a title. Additionally, should I say over time, across time?
    – ZK Zhao
    May 5, 2016 at 7:02
  • 3
    The data is variable (or "dynamic" or "not static") with respect to time.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 4, 2016 at 3:30
  • @HotLicks, is there any way I can make this into a short title?
    – ZK Zhao
    Jun 4, 2016 at 3:38

2 Answers 2


You can say it is labile or has lability (readily changing or widely fluctuating). Example sentence: Lability in the data makes it difficult to pin point stuff.

  • Can I say shift over time? of simply time shift?
    – ZK Zhao
    May 9, 2016 at 2:01
  • 1
    @cqcn1991 "shift over time" is a bit weird. Although not incorrect, it indicates more of a position change as "shift" is used in regards of position. So, "shift change" is a correct phrase, just not that appropriate.
    – vickyace
    May 9, 2016 at 2:32

You could make it sound more technical by saying the "the distribution shows temporal flux".

temporal adjective 1. Relating to time

flux noun 3. A state of flow or continuous change

(Chambers dictionary: iPhone edition)

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