Hierarchycal graph on Tulip

Some variables:

  • input: the input (original) graph
  • orig: the same input graph, but it is made as a sub graph of input.
  • meta: a node that represents a sub graph

Creating a subgraph

Case: Some of nodes in the original graph will be grouped as a sub graph. Those nodes in the original graph will then be replaced with a (meta) node that represents that sub graph.

Precondition: The original graph must not be the root graph. Create a sub graph of it first that contains the same nodes and edges.

Graph* orig = input->getRoot()->addSubGraph();
copy(input, orig);

Subgraph creation

set<node> nodes = [ list of nodes of the original graph (input) that will be subgraph-ed ]
node meta = tlp::createMetaNode(orig, nodes);

Two local properties of the input will be created: viewMetaNode and viewColor.

viewMetaNode property contains mapping from meta node to the sub graph that it represents.

Edges to nodes in the sub graph will changed. They will be pointed to the meta node after the sub graph is created. However, the original information about the edges is saved, so it can be restored later.

Getting created subgraph

GraphProperty* gp = input->getLocalProperty<GraphProperty*>("viewMetaNode");
Graph* subgraph = gp->getNodeValue(meta);

Restoring a sub graph to its “parent”

tlp::openMetaNode(orig, meta)

Edges connections will be restored.


  1. The copy function (taken from GrouseFlocks):
    void copy (Graph *src, Graph *dest) {
      StableIterator <node> nodes (src->getNodes());
      while (nodes.hasNext()) dest->addNode (nodes.next());
      StableIterator <edge> edges (src->getEdges());
      while (edges.hasNext()) dest->addEdge (edges.next());
    }//end copyFeature
  2. Edges in a directed graph are handled nicely. Might be a problem if you only expect at most one edge for every pair of nodes (simple graph)
  3. Sub graphs can contain other sub graphs
  4. Opening a sub graph inside another sub graph may lead into a problem. Open the outer subgraph first to avoid unexpected problem.

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