MatLink: Enhanced Matrix Visualization for Analyzing Social Networks

Nathalie Henry Riche, Jean-Daniel Fekete

In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Proceedings of the 13th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, INTERACT'07) |

Published by Springer

Visualizing social networks presents challeges for both nodelink and adjacency matrix representations. Social networks are locally dense, which makes node-link displays unreadable. Yet, main analysis tasks require following paths, which is difficult on matrices. This article presents MatLink, a hybrid representation with links overlaid on the borders of a matrix and dynamic topological feedback as the pointer moves. We evaluated MatLink by an experiment comparing its readability, in term of errors and time, for social network-related tasks to the other conventional representations on graphs varying in size (small and medium) and density. It showed significant advantages for most tasks, especially path-related ones where standard matrices are weak.