Self-Organizing Graphs — A Neural Network Perspective of Graph Layout
The paper presents self-organizing graphs, a novel approach to graph layout based on a competitive learning algorithm. This method is an extension of self-organization strategies known from unsupervised neural networks, namely from Kohonen’s self-organizing map. Its main advantage is that it is very flexibly adaptable to arbitrary types of visualization spaces, for it is explicitly parameterized by a metric model of the layout space. Yet the method consumes comparatively little computational resources and does not need any heavy-duty preprocessing. Unlike with other stochastic layout algorithms, not even the costly repeated evaluation of an objective function is required. To our knowledge this is the first connectionist approach to graph layout. The paper presents applications to 2D-layout as well as to 3D-layout and to layout in arbitrary metric spaces, such as networks on spherical surfaces.
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