[Networkit] Graph Drawing & Dropping the "viz" Module

Henning Meyerhenke meyerhenke at kit.edu
Wed May 20 17:17:21 CEST 2015


Strong general disagreement about dropping the graph drawing / 
visualization code from my end. I agree that some refactoring is 
necessary. We can talk about this later in more detail.

To avoid confusion:

- The Postscript-based visualization writes a given layout to a file 
(can be convenient; if we have better options, *also from the C++ part*, 
this part can be dropped)
- The actual drawing part (i.e. computing coordinates in the first 
place) is what needs to stay.

Both things (visualization vs drawing) need to be distinguished.


Am 20.05.15 um 16:56 schrieb Christian Staudt:
> Hi NetworKit developers,
> as agreed, we are going to clean up the code base for the next release to focus more on a strong core of functionality.
> At this point graph drawing is not a strong selling point for NetworKit. We have already dropped the “viztools” module, a student project which contained some code for layout and drawing in Python. I also propose that we drop the code under networkit/cpp/viz from future releases. Some reasons:
> - the classes are not pythonized
> - the code is not release-ready in my opinion, e.g. it contains things like hard-coded paths for the output files
> - it implements postscript-based graphics from scratch, relatively much low-level code for relatively little functionality
> - it is one of 4 (!) rudimentary options in NetworKit for drawing graphs on the screen, which is probably confusing for users. We should get down to 2 proper ones (see below).
> Does any of that code implement a competitive method for graph drawing that other tools do not provide (better)? Are there other reasons for keeping the layout code in a release? If yes, it should be definitely refactored: Layout algorithms should return simply 2D-coordinates for nodes. Drawing the actual graphics is not NetworKit’s job and can be delegated completely to other tools:
> - NetworkX for small graph drawings within the IPython Notebook
> - Gephi for anything larger
> I recommend that we focus on a good interface to Gephi to support visual inspection of graphs.
> Best,
> Chris


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute of Theoretical Informatics (ITI)

Juniorprof. Dr. Henning Meyerhenke
Theoret. Informatics / Parallel Computing

Phone: +49-721-608-41876
Web: http://parco.iti.kit.edu/henningm/

KIT - University of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and
National Research Center of the Helmholtz Association

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