Reduction of visual complexity in dynamic graphs

  • Doug Kimelman
  • Bruce Leban
  • Tova Roth
  • Dror Zernik
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 894)


Graphs are used extensively in software visualization to represent both static aspects of software structure and dynamic aspects of execution-time behavior. However, for realistic subject software systems, there are far too many nodes and edges in the displayed graphs to be comprehensible to an end user. Further, for presentation of dynamics, continual change and redisplay of such large graphs is too demanding for conventional workstation computational resources. This paper poses the problem of “reduction” or “abstraction” in dynamically changing graphs, and proposes a combination of techniques that can be used to reduce the visual complexity of a graph, without obscuring the significant information that it was meant to convey. The abstract graph can be comprehended more readily and it changes far less frequently than the full graph. As well, when the abstract graph does change, it requires far less computation for layout and redisplay. These abstraction techniques are illustrated by way of examples showing their use in systems for visualization of object-oriented and multi-layer software systems.


Abstract Graph Visual Complexity Graph Grammar Software Visualization Dynamic Graph 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doug Kimelman
    • 1
  • Bruce Leban
    • 1
  • Tova Roth
    • 1
  • Dror Zernik
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Thomas J. Watson Research CenterYorktown Heights

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