Journal of Systems Engineering and Electronics ›› 2014, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (5): 886-894.doi: 10.1109/JSEE.2014.00102

• SOFTWARE ALGORITHM AND SIMULATION • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Interactive multigraph visualization and exploration with a two-phase strategy

Huaquan Hu1,2,*, Lingda Wu1,2, Chao Yang2, and Hanchen Song1   

  1. 1. Science and Technology on Information Systems Engineering Laboratory,
    National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China;
    2. Equipment Academy, Beijing 101416, China
  • Online:2014-10-23 Published:2010-01-03


While it is very reasonable to use a multigraph consisting of multiple edges between vertices to represent various relationships, the multigraph has not drawn much attention in research. To visualize such a multigraph, a clear layout representing a global structure is of great importance, and interactive visual analysis which allows the multiple edges to be adjusted in appropriate ways for detailed presentation is also essential. A novel interactive two-phase approach to visualizing and exploring multigraph is proposed. The approach consists of two phases: the first phase improves the previous popular works on force-directed methods to produce a brief drawing for the aggregation graph of the input multigraph, while the second phase proposes two interactive strategies, the magnifier model and the thematic-oriented subgraph model. The former highlights the internal details of an aggregation edge which is selected interactively by user, and draws the details in a magnifying view by cubic Bezier curves; the latter highlights only the thematic subgraph consisting of the selected multiple edges that the user concerns. The efficiency of the proposed approach is demonstrated with a real-world multigraph dataset and how it is used effectively is discussed for various potential applications.