User preference of graph layout aesthetics: a UML study

Helen C. Purchase, Jo Anne Allder, David Carrington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The merit of automatic graph layout algorithms is typically judged on their computational effciency and the extent to which they conform to aesthetic criteria (for example, minimising the number of crossings, maximising symmetry). Experiments investigating the worth of such algorithms from the point of view of human usability can take a number of different forms, depending on whether the graph has meaning in the real world, the nature of the usability measurement, and the effect being investigated (algorithms or aesthetics). Previous studies have investigated performance on abstract graphs with respect to both aesthetics and algorithms, finding support for reducing the number of crossings and bends, and increasing the display of symmetry. This paper reports on preference experiments assessing the effect of individual aesthetics in the application domain of UML diagrams, resulting in a priority listing of aesthetics for this domain. The results reveal a dif- ference in aesthetic priority from those of previous domain-independent experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGraph Drawing - 8th International Symposium, GD 2000 ColonialWilliamsburg, VA, USA, September 20-23, 2000 Proceedings
EditorsJoe Marks
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)3540415548, 9783540415541
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventGraph Drawing 2000 - Colonial Williamsburg, United States of America
Duration: 20 Sept 200023 Sept 2000
Conference number: 8th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceGraph Drawing 2000
Abbreviated titleGD 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityColonial Williamsburg
Internet address

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