10.1.1.122.9489 - 24 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VISUALIZATION AND...

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Graph Visualization and Navigation in Information Visualization: A Survey Ivan Herman, Member , IEEE Computer Society , Guy Melanc ¸on, and M. Scott Marshall Abstract —This is a survey on graph visualization and navigation techniques, as used in information visualization. Graphs appear in numerous applications such as web browsing, state-transition diagrams, and data structures. The ability to visualize and to navigate in these potentially large, abstract graphs is often a crucial part of an application. Information visualization has specific requirements, which means that this survey approaches the results of traditional graph drawing from a different perspective. Index Terms —Information visualization, graph visualization, graph drawing, navigation, focus+context, fish-eye, clustering. æ 1I NTRODUCTION A LTHOUGH the visualization of graphs is the subject of this survey, it is not about graph drawing in general. Excellent bibliographic surveys [4], [34], books [5], or even on-line tutorials [26] exist for graph drawing. Instead, the handling of graphs is considered with respect to informa- tion visualization. Information visualization has become a large field and “subfields” are beginning to emerge (see, for example, Card et al. [16] for a recent collection of papers from the last decade). A simple way to determine the applicability of graph visualization is to consider the following question: Is there an inherent relation among the data elements to be visualized ? If the answer to the question is “no,” then data elements are “unstructured” and the goal of the information visualization system might be to help discover relations among data through visual means. If, however, the answer to the question is “yes,” then the data can be represented by the nodes of a graph, with the edges representing the relations. Information visualization research dealing with unstruc- tured data has a distinct flavor. However, such research is not the subject of this survey. Instead, our discussion focuses on representations of structured data, i.e., where graphs are the fundamental structural representation of the data . Information visualization has specific requirements, which means that we will approach the results of traditional graph drawing from a different perspective than other surveys. 1.1 Typical Application Areas Graph visualization has many areas of application. Most people have encountered a file hierarchy on a computer system. A file hierarchy can be represented as a tree (a special type of graph). It is often necessary to navigate through the file hierarchy in order to find a particular file. Anyone who has done this has probably experienced a few of the problems involved in graph visualization: “Where am I?” “Where is the file that I’m looking for?” Other familiar types of graphs include the hierarchy illustrated in an organizational chart and taxonomies that portray the relations between species. Web site maps are another application of graphs, as well as browsing history. In
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10.1.1.122.9489 - 24 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VISUALIZATION AND...

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