Sketched Graph Drawing: A Lesson in Empirical Studies

Purchase, Helen C. (2013) Sketched Graph Drawing: A Lesson in Empirical Studies. In: 21st International Symposium, GD 2013, September 23-25, 2013, Bordeaux, France , pp. 232-243 (Official URL:

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper reports on a series of three similar graph drawing empirical studies, and describes the results of investigating subtle variations on the experimental method. Its purpose is two-fold: to report the results of the experiments, as well as to illustrate how easy it is to inadvertently make conclusions that may not stand up to scrutiny. While the results of the initial experiment were validated, instances of speculative conclusions and inherent bias were identified. This research highlights the importance of stating the limitations of any experiment, being clear about conclusions that are speculative, and not assuming that (even minor) experimental decisions will not affect the results.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Classifications:D Aesthetics > D.001 General
S Software and Systems > S.001 General
ID Code:1378

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Purchase, H.C., Pilcher, C., Plimmer, B.: Graph drawing aesthetics — created by users not algorithms. IEEE Trans. Vis. and Computer Graphics 18(1), 81–92 (2012)

Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R.: The Action Research Planner, 3rd edn. Deakin University Press (1988)

Huang, W.: Using eye-tracking to investigate graph layout effects. In: Hong, S.H., Ma, K.L. (eds.) Proc. Asia Pacific Symp. on Visualisation, pp. 97–100. IEEE (2007)

Ware, C., et al.: Cognitive measurements of graph aesthetics. Information Visualization 1(2), 103–110 (2002)

Purchase, H.C., Cohen, R.F., James, M.: An experimental study of the basis for graph drawing algorithms. ACM J. Experimental Algorithmics 2(4), 1–17 (1997)

van Ham, F., Rogowitz, B.E.: Perceptual organisation in user-generated graph layouts. IEEE Trans. Vis. and Computer Graphics 14(6), 1333–1339 (2008)

Gansner, E.R., Koren, Y., North, S.C.: Graph Drawing by Stress Majorization. In: Pach, J. (ed.) GD 2004. LNCS, vol. 3383, pp. 239–250. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)

Dwyer, T., et al.: A comparison of user-generated and automatic graph layouts. IEEE Trans. on Vis. and Computer Graphics 15(6), 961–968 (2009)

Plimmer, B., Purchase, H.C., Yang, H.Y.: SketchNode: Intelligent sketching support and formal diagramming. In: Brereton, M., Viller, S., Kraal, B. (eds.) OzChi Conference, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 136–143 (2010)

Fruchterman, T.M.J., Reingold, E.M.: Graph drawing by force-directed placement. Software — Practice and Experience 21(11), 1129–1164 (1991)

Ziemkiewicz, C., Kosara, R.: The shaping of information by visual metaphors. IEEE Trans. on Vis. and Computer Graphics 14(6), 1269–1276 (2008)