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A maxent-stress model for graph layout

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3 Author(s)
Gansner, E.R. ; AT&T Labs. - Res., Florham Park, NJ, USA ; Yifan Hu ; North, S.

In some applications of graph visualization, input edges have associated target lengths. Dealing with these lengths is a challenge, especially for large graphs. Stress models are often employed in this situation. However, the traditional full stress model is not scalable due to its reliance on an initial all-pairs shortest path calculation. A number of fast approximation algorithms have been proposed. While they work well for some graphs, the results are less satisfactory on graphs of intrinsically high dimension, because nodes overlap unnecessarily. We propose a solution, called the maxent-stress model, which applies the principle of maximum entropy to cope with the extra degrees of freedom. We describe a force-augmented stress majorization algorithm that solves the maxent-stress model. Numerical results show that the algorithm scales well, and provides acceptable layouts for large, non-rigid graphs. This also has potential applications to scalable algorithms for statistical multidimensional scaling (MDS) with variable distances.

Published in:

Visualization Symposium (PacificVis), 2012 IEEE Pacific

Date of Conference:

Feb. 28 2012-March 2 2012