Interactive, Constraint-based Layout of Engineering Diagrams

Tim Dwyer, Kim Marriott, Michael Wybrow


Many engineering disciplines require visualisation of networks. Constrained graph layout is a powerful new approach to network layout that allows the user to impose a wide variety application-specific placement constraints—such as downwards pointing directed edges, alignment of nodes, cluster containment and non-overlapping nodes and clusters—on the layout. We have recently developed an efficient algorithm for topology-preserving constrained graph layout. This underpins two dynamic graph layout applications we have developed: a network diagram authoring tool, Dunnart, and a network diagram browser. In this paper we provide an overview of topology-preserving constrained graph layout and illustrate how Dunnart and the network diagram browser can be applied to engineering diagram authoring and visualisation.

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