The design space of implicit hierarchy visualization: A survey

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Apart from explicit node-link representations, implicit visualizations and especially the Treemap as their frontrunner have acquired a solid position among the available techniques to visualize hierarchies. Their advantage is a highly space-efficient graphical representation that does not require explicit drawing of edges. In this paper, we survey the design space for this class of visualization techniques. We establish the design space along the four axes of dimensionality, edge representation, node representation, and layout by examining existing implicit hierarchy visualization techniques. The survey is completed by casting some light into regions of the design space that have not yet been explored. Our design space is not a mere theoretical construct, but a practically usable tool for rapid visualization development. To that end, we discuss a software implementation of the introduced design space.




Schulz, H. J., Hadlak, S., & Schumann, H. (2011). The design space of implicit hierarchy visualization: A survey. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 17(4), 393–411.

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