A Multilevel Algorithm for Force-Directed Graph-Drawing

Chris Walshaw
2003 Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications  
We describe a heuristic method for drawing graphs which uses a multilevel framework combined with a force-directed placement algorithm. The multilevel technique matches and coalesces pairs of adjacent vertices to define a new graph and is repeated recursively to create a hierarchy of increasingly coarse graphs, G0, G1, . . . , GL. The coarsest graph, GL, is then given an initial layout and the layout is refined and extended to all the graphs starting with the coarsest and ending with the
more » ... l. At each successive change of level, l, the initial layout for G l is taken from its coarser and smaller child graph, G l+1 , and refined using force-directed placement. In this way the multilevel framework both accelerates and appears to give a more global quality to the drawing. The algorithm can compute both 2 & 3 dimensional layouts and we demonstrate it on examples ranging in size from 10 to 225,000 vertices. It is also very fast and can compute a 2D layout of a sparse graph in around 12 seconds for a 10,000 vertex graph to around 5-7 minutes for the largest graphs. This is an order of magnitude faster than recent implementations of force-directed placement algorithms.
doi:10.7155/jgaa.00070 fatcat:67mpauv3qvdntmp2fokhujjqza