Evolutionary Meta Layout of Graphs

A graph drawing library is like a toolbox, allowing experts to select and configure a specialized algorithm in order to meet the requirements of their diagram visualization application. However, without expert knowledge of the algorithms the potential of such a toolbox cannot be fully exploited. This gives rise to the question whether the process of selecting and configuring layout algorithms can be automated such that good layouts are produced. In this paper we call this kind of automation "meta layout." We propose a genetic representation that can be used in meta heuristics for meta layout and contribute new metrics for the evaluation of graph drawings. Furthermore, we examine the use of an evolutionary algorithm to search for optimal solutions and evaluate this approach both with automatic experiments and a user study. The results confirm that our methods can actually help users to find good layout configurations.

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