A treemap based method for rapid layout of large graphs

Chris Muelder, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations


Abstract graphs or networks are a commonly recurring data type in many fields. In order to visualize such graphs effectively, the graph must be laid out on the screen coherently. Many algorithms exist to do this, but many of these algorithms tend to be very slow when the input graph is large. This paper presents a new approach to the large graph layout problem, which quickly generates an effective layout. This new method proceeds by generating a clustering hierarchy for the graph, applying a treemap to this hierarchy, and finally placing the graph vertices in their associated regions in the treemap. It is ideal for interactive systems where operations such as semantic zooming are to be performed, since most of the work is done in the initial hierarchy calculation, and it takes very little work to recalculate the layout. This method is also valuable in that the resulting layout can be used as the input to an iterative algorithm (e.g., a force directed method), which greatly reduces the number of iterations required to converge to a near optimal layout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Pacific Visualisation Symposium 2008, PacificVis - Proceedings
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Aug 25 2008
Event2008 Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2008 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Mar 4 2008Mar 7 2008


Other2008 Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2008


  • I.3.6 [computing methodologies]: computer graphics - methodologies and techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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