Date: 25 Apr 2001

Drawing on Physical Analogies

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Abstract

Graph layout methods described in previous chapters were based on structural characteristics of the graph, or a preprocessed version of the graph. Often, such knowledge is not provided. In this chapter, we take a look at a class of methods applicable to general graphs, without prior knowledge of any structural properties. Their common denominator is that they liken the graph to a system of interacting physical objects, the underlying assumption being that relaxed (energy-minimal) states of suitably defined systems correspond to readable and informative layouts.