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Rauch Manuela, Wozelka Ralph, Veas Eduardo Enrique, Sabol Vedran

Semantic Blossom Graph: A new Approach for Visual Graph Exploration

18th International Conference on Information Visualisation, IEEE Computer Society CPS, 2014

Graphs are widely used to represent relationshipsbetween entities. Indeed, their simplicity in depicting connect-edness backed by a mathematical formalism, make graphs anideal metaphor to convey relatedness between entities irrespec-tive of the domain. However, graphs pose several challenges forvisual analysis. A large number of entities or a densely con-nected set quickly render the graph unreadable due to clutter.Typed relationships leading to multigraphs cannot clearly berepresented in hierarchical layout or edge bundling, commonclutter reduction techniques. We propose a novel approach tovisual analysis of complex graphs based on two metaphors:semantic blossom and selective expansion. Instead of showingthe whole graph, we display only a small representative subsetof nodes, each with a compressed summary of relations in asemantic blossom. Users apply selective expansion to traversethe graph and discover the subset of interest. A preliminaryevaluation showed that our approach is intuitive and usefulfor graph exploration and provided insightful ideas for futureimprovements.
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