Preferably one that connects points with lines? Excel does a good job in 2-D scatter plots; not 3D. Preferably for windows XP. P.S. An example would be plotting lorentz attractor in 3D space. http://www.ph.biu.ac.il/~rapaport/java-apps/lorenz.html something like this, but where you can enter your own data tables and plot. (P.S. although I believe mathematica can do it, I'm looking for something more specific, just like above with ability to enter your own data tables). TIA.

R is what you want, probably... basically the free version of matlab/SAS... rocks the house: http://www.r-project.org here's a 3d scatterplot... there are so many variations and tools that work with R to help you variate the plot or colors or whatever: http://addictedtor.free.fr/graphiques/RGraphGallery.php?graph=44

Great Idea. Thanks. Any idea if there is a package to animate the time steps and or connect dots with lines (like the java example)? I really need to start playing with R more. Also, any good practical reference suggestions on R books for newbies (I am familiar with matlab) would be appreciated.

do you mind if I ask what one would use a lorenz attractor 4? they're quite pretty, just more attractive than scatterplots? I have not seem animations done in R before, I'm guessing maybe the R graphics device isn't well oriented? totally guessing though could be very wrong. you could poke around the r search engine: http://rseek.org also maybe check out image magic: http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/anim_basics/ here's a quick example: http://134.148.236.121/R/help/01a/0975.html

The scatterplot is just a tool used to represent the lorentz attractor. Just like plotting a function on a 2-D graph for example. However, it's a bit more useful to look at interpolated lines between the points (just not sure how to do it in R yet) and how their behavior moves over time. The lorentz attractor is simply a famous example of a non-linear chaotic system plotted out in a domain they call phase space. The function in that space, paints the well known butterfly signature of this famous attractor. Not saying much about their application in markets, but, some people have found chaotic models useful to make some observations=).

dtrader98, Though I have not yet found the time to read these books myself, I have a note to myself with me about R books that mentions, "The R book : good reviews" "Introductory Statistics with R, Dalgaard" "Statistical analysis and data display : an intermediate course with examples in S-plus, R, and SAS / Richard M. Heiberger, Burt Holland" Hope that Amazon review on these books will lead you further. I have animated plots in R (2D candlesticks, not 3D) and found it to be sufficient for my purposes, though clearly not as efficient at redrawing as a C++ or Java program might be. I fed data from IB into R and ran some custom statistical analyses and marked points of interest on a plain old candlestick chart. If you go a similar route (embedding/controlling R and it's GUI via Java), let me know, I'll give you some useful links about that.

I used gnuplot for 3d scatter plots a while back. Lets you drag around in 3, no zoom though, had to manually enter parameters. Good free software. My end experience was that visual data isn't as important as quantitative. Write a custom data analysis program to find what you want.

Check out this cool piece of software that works with Excel: http://www.miner3d.com/demos/alzheimer/ (Forget the stock market demo - it's lame) Warning: the web page takes a while to download.