On aesthetics for user-sketched layouts of vertex-weighted graphs

Abstract

Recent empirical works on graph drawing have investigated visual properties of graph drawings created by users based on adjacency lists of graphs as well as drawing behaviors. This is mainly done by asking participants to sketch these graphs on a tablet computer so that they can freely express their interpretation. However, previous works did not consider weighted vertices, i.e., assigning a weight to a vertex to reflect its importance. Therefore, we conducted an empirical study on graphs with weighted vertices. More specifically, this work conducts an experiment and analyzes characteristics of the final graph layouts, participants’ drawing processes and strategies and their drawing preferences. Results indicated that minimizing the number of edge crossings was still the most important aesthetic for participants, and that participants preferred the aesthetic of creating grid-like drawings in the condition with weighted vertices. Hence, this work suggested that aesthetics of minimizing number of edge crossings and creating grid-like patterns should be the main consideration for designing a graph drawing software application.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the anonymous referees for comments that improved the content as well as the presentation of this paper. This work has been supported in part by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, under Grants MOST 106-2221-E-009-101-MY3 and MOST 108-2628-E-009-008-MY3, and the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, under the Higher Education Sprout Project.

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Correspondence to Wan-Yu Liu.

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Lin, CC., Huang, W., Liu, WY. et al. On aesthetics for user-sketched layouts of vertex-weighted graphs. J Vis 24, 157–171 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12650-020-00695-2

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Keywords

  • Graph drawing aesthetics
  • Weighted vertex
  • User-sketched graph drawing
  • Information visualization