Abstract

MatrixExplorer is a network visualization system that uses two representations: node-link diagrams and matrices. Its design comes from a list of requirements formalized after several interviews and a participatory design session conducted with social science researchers. Although matrices are commonly used in social networks analysis, very few systems support the matrix-based representations to visualize and analyze networks. MatrixExplorer provides several novel features to support the exploration of social networks with a matrix-based representation, in addition to the standard interactive filtering and clustering functions. It provides tools to reorder (layout) matrices, to annotate and compare findings across different layouts and find consensus among several clusterings. MatrixExplorer also supports Node-link diagram views which are familiar to most users and remain a convenient way to publish or communicate exploration results. Matrix and node-link representations are kept synchronized at all stages of the exploration process.