Please forward this error screen to 77. Enter the drawing of nature for children you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. This article is about the general subject of graph drawing. For the annual research symposium, see International Symposium on Graph Drawing.

Graphic representation of a minute fraction of the WWW, demonstrating hyperlinks. A drawing of a graph or network diagram is a pictorial representation of the vertices and edges of a graph. This drawing should not be confused with the graph itself: very different layouts can correspond to the same graph. Many different quality measures have been defined for graph drawings, in an attempt to find objective means of evaluating their aesthetics and usability. In addition to guiding the choice between different layout methods for the same graph, some layout methods attempt to directly optimize these measures. The crossing number of a drawing is the number of pairs of edges that cross each other. The area of a drawing is the size of its smallest bounding box, relative to the closest distance between any two vertices.

Drawings with smaller area are generally preferable to those with larger area, because they allow the features of the drawing to be shown at greater size and therefore more legibly. Symmetry display is the problem of finding symmetry groups within a given graph, and finding a drawing that displays as much of the symmetry as possible. It is important that edges have shapes that are as simple as possible, to make it easier for the eye to follow them. In polyline drawings, the complexity of an edge may be measured by its number of bends, and many methods aim to provide drawings with few total bends or few bends per edge. Similarly for spline curves the complexity of an edge may be measured by the number of control points on the edge.

Several commonly used quality measures concern lengths of edges: it is generally desirable to minimize the total length of the edges as well as the maximum length of any edge. Additionally, it may be preferable for the lengths of edges to be uniform rather than highly varied. Angular resolution is a measure of the sharpest angles in a graph drawing. If a graph has vertices with high degree then it necessarily will have small angular resolution, but the angular resolution can be bounded below by a function of the degree. In force-based layout systems, the graph drawing software modifies an initial vertex placement by continuously moving the vertices according to a system of forces based on physical metaphors related to systems of springs or molecular mechanics.

Spectral layout methods use as coordinates the eigenvectors of a matrix such as the Laplacian derived from the adjacency matrix of the graph. Orthogonal layout methods, which allow the edges of the graph to run horizontally or vertically, parallel to the coordinate axes of the layout. These methods were originally designed for VLSI and PCB layout problems but they have also been adapted for graph drawing. Tree layout algorithms these show a rooted tree-like formation, suitable for trees. Often, in a technique called “balloon layout”, the children of each node in the tree are drawn on a circle surrounding the node, with the radii of these circles diminishing at lower levels in the tree so that these circles do not overlap. Circular layout methods place the vertices of the graph on a circle, choosing carefully the ordering of the vertices around the circle to reduce crossings and place adjacent vertices close to each other.