Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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An Empirical Evaluation of Force-Directed Graph Layout

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posted on 2021-11-14, 10:36 authored by Klapaukh, Roman

Force-directed graph layout is a widely used algorithm for the automatic layout of graphs. Little experimental work has been done exploring the behaviour of the algorithm under a variety of conditions. This thesis carries out three large-scale metric-based experiments. The first explores how the core algorithm behaves under changes to initial conditions. The second looks at extending the force-directed layout algorithm with additional forces to reduce overlaps. The third develops a novel symmetry metric for graphs and uses that to explore the symmetries of graphs. This thesis also carries out a user study to show that the differences reported by metrics in the graphs are reflected in a difference in user performance when using graphs for a free-form selection task.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Computer Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970108 Expanding Knowledhe in the Information and Computing Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Pearce, David; Marshall, Stuart