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In the radial tree layout a single node is placed at the center of the display and all the other nodes are laid around it.The entire graph is like a tree rooted at the central node. The central node is refered to as the focus node and all the other nodes are arranged on concentric rings around it. Each node lies on the ring corresponding to its shortest network distance from the focus. Any two nodes joined by an edge in the graph is refered to as neighbors. Immediate neighbors of the focus lie on the smallest inner ring, their neighbors lie on the second smallest ring, and so on.

Pros & Cons

Radial tree layout is suitable for dynamically changing graphs since the addition or deletion of a node perturbs its siblings only by a small amount, especially as the graph becomes dense.


The Radial tree layout has been applyed to visualizations of social networks and of the Gnutella file-sharing network.


Implemented by J. Heer (Prefuse) and integrated by Weixia (Bonnie) Huang. Document compilation by Soma Sanyal.


Di Battista, G., Eades, P., Tamassia, R., and Tollis, I. G.,(1999) Graph Drawing: Algorithms for the Visualization of Graphs. Upper Saddle River, N. J: Prentice Hall.

See Also

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