We have developed (1) a graph visualization system that allows users to explore graphs by viewing them as a succession of spanning trees selected interactively, (2) a radial graph layout algorithm, and (3) an animation algorithm that generates meaningful visualizations and smooth transitions between graphs while minimizing edge crossings during transitions and in static layouts. Our system is similar to the radial layout system of Yee et al. (2001), but differs primarily in that each node is positioned on a coordinate system centered on its own parent rather than on a single coordinate system for all nodes. Our system is thus easy to define recursively and lends itself to parallelization. It also guarantees that layouts have many nice properties, such as: it guarantees certain edges never cross during an animation. We compared the layouts and transitions produced by our algorithms to those produced by Yee et al. Results from several experiments indicate that our system produces fewer edge crossings during transitions between graph drawings, and that the transitions more often involve changes in local scaling rather than structure. These findings suggest the system has promise as an interactive graph exploration tool in a variety of settings.
Department, Program, or Center
Center for Advancing the Study of CyberInfrastructure
arXiv e-print cs/0606007
RIT – Main Campus