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Two kinds of new methods are developed to obtain effective representations of hierarchies automatically: theoretical and heuristic methods. The methods determine the positions of vertices in two steps. First the order of the vertices in each level is determined to reduce the number of crossings of edges. Then horizontal positions of the vertices are determined to improve further the readability of drawings. The theoretical methods are useful in recognizing the nature of the problem, and the heuristic methods make it possible to enlarge the size of hierarchies with which we can deal. Performance tests of the heuristic methods and several applications are presented.