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Graph Layout Performance Comparisons of Force-Directed Algorithms

Volume 14, Number 1, January 2018, pp. 67-76
DOI: 10.23940/ijpe.18.01.p8.6776

Jie Huaa, Mao Lin Huanga, Guohua Wangb

aUniversity of Technology Sydney, Sydney, 2007, Australia
bSouth China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510641, China

(Submitted on October 14, 2017; Revised on December 5, 2017; Accepted on December 20, 2017)


Due to force-directed algorithms’ capabilities of producing aesthetically pleasing graph layouts, which follow metrics for graph drawing aesthetics, these layouts have become the most common methods in the practical data visualization area. However, evaluating the performance of relevant algorithms remains a challenge, since graph layout quality is largely relying on aspects such as human intuition, personal judgment and methods’ pre-setting parameters. In addition, most aesthetics criteria of graph drawing conflict with each other. This study evaluated the performance measurements of four force-directed algorithms in terms of seven commonly applied aesthetic criteria based on practical raw data collected, and demonstrated the experimental framework. The early outcomes compared twenty final graph layouts and gave empirical evidences; the study may assist with future detailed force-directed algorithms selection based on users’ specific requirements.


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