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Animated Exploration of Graphs with Radial Layout
Author(s):
Ka-Ping Yee, Danyel Fisher, Rachna Dhamija, Marti Hearst
Institution:
University of California, Berkeley
Year:
2001
URL:
http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~ping/gtv/
Project Description:
Presented at InfoVis 2001, this project presents a new animation technique for supporting interactive exploration of a graph using a radial tree layout method. As an alternative to trying to fit an entire graph into one view, this project provides exploration of subregions of the graph. Even if a graph is small enough to display all at once, it can be difficult to understand all of its relationships from only a single view. The ability to interactively view a graph from different perspectives can yield new insights.

The authors used a visualization paradigm in which the view of a graph is determined by the selection of a single node as the center of interest, or focus. The main contribution of this work is a new technique for animating the transitions from one view to the next in a smooth, appealing manner. The algorithm augments the well-known radial layout method by linearly interpolating the polar coordinates of the nodes and enforcing constraints on the new layout to keep it as similar as possible to the previous layout. When combined with a method for aggregating or eliding nodes far away from the focus, this technique can also provide an effective way to explore very large graphs.

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