KDD Papers

Visualizing Attributed Graphs via Terrain Metaphor

Yang Zhang (The Ohio State University);Yusu Wang (The Ohio State University);Srinivasan Parthasarathy (The Ohio State University)


The value proposition of a dataset often resides in the implicit interconnections or explicit relationships (patterns) among individual entities, and is often modeled as a graph. Effective visualization of such graphs can lead to key insights uncovering such value. In this article we propose a visualization method to explore attributed graphs with numerical attributes associated with nodes (or edges). Such numerical attributes can represent raw content information, similarities, or derived information reflecting important network measures such as triangle density and centrality. The proposed visualization strategy seeks to simultaneously uncover the relationship between attribute values and graph topology, and relies on transforming the network to generate a terrain map. A key objective here is to ensure that the terrain map reveals the overall distribution of components-of-interest (e.g. dense subgraphs, k-cores) and the relationships among them while being sensitive to the attribute values over the graph. We also design extensions that can capture the relationship across multiple numerical attributes. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method on several real-world data science tasks while scaling to large graphs with millions of nodes.