Fast compound graph layout with constraint support

Date
2022-08
Advisor
Doğrusöz, Uğur
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

Visual analysis of relational data becomes more challenging in today's world as the amount of data increases exponentially. Effective visual display of such data is therefore a key requirement to simplify the analysis process. Compound graphs present a practical structure for both representing the relational data with varying levels of groupings or abstractions and managing its complexity. In addition, a good automatic layout of these graphs lets users understand relationships, uncover new insights and find important patterns hidden in the data. To this end, we introduce a new layout algorithm named fCoSE (fast Compound Spring Embedder) for compound graphs with support for user-specified placement constraints. fCoSE combines the speed of spectral layout with the aesthetics and quality of force-directed layout while satisfying specified constraints and properly displaying compound structures. The algorithm first generates a draft layout with the help of a spectral approach, then enforces placement constraints by using newly introduced heuristics and finally polishes the layout via a force-directed layout algorithm modified to maintain enforced constraints. Our experiments performed on both real-life and randomly generated graphs verify that fCoSE outperforms its competitors in terms of both speed and generally accepted graph layout criteria and is fast enough to be used in interactive applications with small to medium-sized graphs.

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Information visualization, Graph layout, Visual analytics, Compound graphs, Constrained layout, Spectral graph drawing
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Published Version (Please cite this version)