Edge Label Placement in Layered Graph Drawing

Many visual languages based on node-link diagrams use edge labels. We describe different strategies of placing edge labels in the context of the layered approach to graph drawing and investigate ways of encoding edge direction in labels. We evaluate the label placement strategies based on both common aesthetic criteria and a controlled experiment. We find that placing labels on their edge can lead to more compact diagrams. Also, placing labels with additional arrows indicating edge direction can help users navigate in large diagrams and is generally preferred by participants of our experiment, outperforming other ways of indicating edge direction.


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