MatLink: Enhanced Matrix Visualization for Analyzing Social Networks

  • Nathalie Henry
  • Jean-Daniel Fekete
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74800-7_24

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4663)
Cite this paper as:
Henry N., Fekete JD. (2007) MatLink: Enhanced Matrix Visualization for Analyzing Social Networks. In: Baranauskas C., Palanque P., Abascal J., Barbosa S.D.J. (eds) Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2007. INTERACT 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4663. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


Visualizing social networks presents challeges for both node-link and adjacency matrix representations. Social networks are locally dense, which makes node-link displays unreadable. Yet, main analysis tasks require following paths, which is difficult on matrices. This article presents MatLink, a hybrid representation with links overlaid on the borders of a matrix and dynamic topological feedback as the pointer moves. We evaluated MatLink by an experiment comparing its readability, in term of errors and time, for social network-related tasks to the other conventional representations on graphs varying in size (small and medium) and density. It showed significant advantages for most tasks, especially path-related ones where standard matrices are weak.


Node-Link Diagram Matrix Visualization Social Network 

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalie Henry
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean-Daniel Fekete
    • 1
  1. 1.INRIA/LRI, Bat. 490, Univ. Paris-Sud, F91405, OrsayFrance
  2. 2.Univ. of SydneyAustralia

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