Mental map preserving graph drawing using simulated annealing

Chun-Cheng Lin, Yi Yi Lee, Hsu Chun Yen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Visualizing graphs has been studied extensively in the community of graph drawing and information visualization over the years. In some applications, the user is required to interact with a graph by making slight changes to the underlying graph structure. To visualize graphs in such an interactive environment, it is desirable that the differences between the displays of the original and the modified graphs be kept minimal, allowing the user to comprehend the changes in the graph structure faster. As the mental map concept refers to the presentation of a person's mind while exploring visual information, the better the mental map is preserved, the easier the structure change of a graph is understood. It is somewhat surprising that preserving the user's mental map has largely been ignored in the graph drawing community in the past. We propose an effective mental-map-preserving graph drawing algorithm for straight-line drawings of general undirected graphs based on the simulated-annealing technique. Our experimental results and questionnaire analysis suggest this new approach to be promising.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4253-4272
Number of pages20
JournalInformation sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Graph drawing
  • Mental map
  • Simulated annealing


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