The Metro Map Layout Problem

01/2004; DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-31843-9_50


We initiate a new problem of automatic metro map layout. In general, a metro map consists of a set of lines which have intersections or overlaps. We define a set of aesthetic criteria for good metro map layouts and present a method to produce such layouts automatically. Our method uses a variation of the spring algorithm with a suitable preprocessing step. The experimental results with real world data sets show that our method produces good metro map layouts quickly.
A preliminary version of this paper was published in [5]. For a version of this paper with full-size colour images, see [6].

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Available from: Hugo A. D. Nascimento, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "Metro maps are an instantiation in this direction. Progress has been made in their automated mapping since 2002, such as [10], [11] and [12], together with the evaluation of users' experience, e.g. [9] and [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This position paper addresses current computational and cartographic challenges of automated schematic mapping, taking as its basis the first research achievements on these subjects, published in 2002. Some unresolved problems are listed, which cover the following topics: contextual schematization, multi-scale information, map quality, data repository, complexity of large cities and cognition.
    Schematic Mapping Workshop 2014; 04/2014
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    • "Schematic layout, often called the metro map layout problem , is a variant on the graph drawing problem where a number of aesthetics are present, including the requirement that edges are restricted to a limited number of angles, typically octilinearity . Search is a common method for attempting to solve the schematic layout problem, perhaps because force directed techniques struggle to meet the aesthetic requirements [5]. As a result this problem seems suitable for further investigation in improving the effectiveness of search in graph layout. "
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    ABSTRACT: In search-based graph drawing methods there are typically a number of parameters that control the search algo-rithm. These parameters do not affect the fitness function, but nevertheless have an impact on the final layout. One such search method is hill climbing, and, in the context of schematic layout, we explore how varying three parameters (grid spacing, the starting distance of allowed node movement and the number of iterations) affects the resultant diagram. Although we cannot characterize schematics completely and so cannot yet automatically assign parameters for diagrams, we observe that when parameters are set to values that increase the search space, they also tend to improve the final layout. We come to the conclusion that hill-climbing methods for schematic layout are more prone to reaching local optima than had previously been expected and that a wider search, as described in this paper, can mitigate this, so resulting in a better layout.
    Visual Languages and Computing (VLC), Brighton; 08/2013
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    • "We demonstrate that the introduction of the two extra forces leads to seven aesthetics being improved. Force-directed algorithms have been widely used in various application domains to explore real world problems (e.g., [11] [20] [30]). Real world graphs often have little structure and tend to be random [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many automatic graph drawing algorithms implement only one or two aesthetic criteria since most aesthetics conflict with each other. Empirical research has shown that although those algorithms are based on different aesthetics, drawings produced by them have comparable effectiveness.The comparable effectiveness raises a question about the necessity of choosing one algorithm against another for drawing graphs when human performance is a main concern. In this paper, we argue that effectiveness can be improved when algorithms are designed by making compromises between aesthetics, rather than trying to satisfy one or two of them to the fullest. We therefore introduce a new algorithm: BIGANGLE. This algorithm produces drawings with multiple aesthetics being improved at the same time, compared to a classical spring algorithm. A user study comparing these two algorithms indicates that BIGANGLE induces a significantly better task performance and a lower cognitive load, therefore resulting in better graph drawings in terms of human cognitive efficiency.Our study indicates that aesthetics should not be considered separately. Improving multiple aesthetics at the same time, even to small extents, will have a better chance to make resultant drawings more effective. Although this finding is based on a study of algorithms, it also applies in general graph visualization and evaluation.
    Journal of Visual Languages & Computing 08/2013; 24(4):262–272. DOI:10.1016/j.jvlc.2011.12.002 · 0.89 Impact Factor
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