[lug] Graph Layout Software

D. Stimits stimits at idcomm.com
Fri Nov 9 19:00:21 MST 2001

David wrote:
> > By graph layout software I mean sw that takes a specification of nodes
> > and edges and pretty-prints a graph from them.
> > > Wow..  if you find one let me know..  Even if its for windows.
> > > Dia may be nice, but I doubt it does anything like what dajo
> > > seems to be asking for.  Given a raw graph, i.e., a set of
> > > nodes and a set of edges, then it is not an easy task to
> > > "pretty-print" it.  You may want to look at chemical ...
> > > Out of curiosity, is this merely the kind of graph from applied
> > > combinatorics? If so, are your graphs directed or undirected? What
> > > format is your raw data in?
> I do want something to do the hard job.  Software that does this kind
> of thing does exist, a package was used under licence by a company
> that I used to work for; so, if all else fails I can find out its
> name, which, of course, I have forgotten.  I hesitate to ask about
> that package, and wrote to blug, because, as I remember, it was
> expensive - surprise!  Expensive means, for commercial users, $50-150K
> per annum, it may have been more  =8-O

Wow, I should write something for the hell of it and change $10k

> Dan, I do not know what you mean by "merely the kind of graph from
> applied combinatorics".  The package that I have had experience of was
> highly capable, and could be configured extensively, and directed or
> undirected configuration was relatively trivial.  My data can be
> regarded as either depending on how you look at it.  The raw data
> configuration also is really not significant: the user must configure
> his data to suit the package *wrt the graph aspects* - which does not
> mean any other configuration, i.e., you do not need to trash your data.

In terms of applied combinatorics, it is something like a list of points
and paths that can be taken to reach those points. If undirected, all
streets are two-way, else they can be made one-way. The traveling
salesman problem is typical, where you want to minimize the work done by
a salesman to visit all nodes. Each path (or edge) could be considered
with a weight if desired. In operations management, you might consider
this sort of thing as a way to decide truck routes and where to locate
new warehouses. On a MUD (text mode game) you might use it to describe
room locations, and write auto-pilots. In manufacturing, construction of
one phase of a project before another might change the cost of another
phase, based on human difficulty...so you'd pick a node and path weight
that is minimized, where each node is a construction phase (I once wrote
some software to semi-automate this for an electronics plant when
documenting new construction).

I'm curious what particular category you are using? I'm also considering
something like this for display of a state-based game designer, where
possible game states are described, and plugins are written for triggers
to various states; this would be a graphical interconnect tool of state
and trigger modules.

D. Stimits, stimits at idcomm.com

> I shall let blug know if I find anything interesting.  Thanks for the
> responses.
> dajo
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