layout
Change layout of graph plot
Description
layout(
changes the layout of graph
plot H
)H
by using an automatic choice of layout method based on the
structure of the graph. The layout
function modifies the
XData
and YData
properties of
H
.
layout(
uses additional options specified by one or more namevalue pair arguments. For
example, H
,method
,Name,Value
)layout(H,'force','Iterations',N)
specifies the number of
iterations to use in computing the force layout, and
layout(H,'layered','Sources',S)
uses a layered layout with
source nodes S
included in the first layer.
Examples
Graph Layout Based on Structure
Create and plot a graph using the 'force'
layout.
s = [1 1 1 1 1 6 6 6 6 6]; t = [2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11]; G = graph(s,t); h = plot(G,'Layout','force');
Change the layout to be the default that plot
determines based on the structure and properties of the graph. The result is the same as using plot(G)
.
layout(h)
Change Layout of Graph
Create and plot a graph using the 'layered'
layout.
s = [1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 6 7]; t = [2 4 5 3 6 4 7 8 6 8 7 8]; G = graph(s,t); h = plot(G,'Layout','layered');
Change the layout of the graph to use the 'subspace'
method.
layout(h,'subspace')
Refine Layout Method of Graph
Create and plot a graph using the 'layered'
layout method.
s = [1 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4]; t = [2 4 5 6 2 4 7 8 1]; G = digraph(s,t); h = plot(G,'Layout','layered');
Use the layout
function to refine the hierarchical layout by specifying source nodes and a horizontal orientation.
layout(h,'layered','Direction','right','Sources',[1 4])
Graph Layout with Multiple Components
Plot a graph that has multiple components, and then show how to use the 'UseGravity'
option to improve the visualization.
Create and plot a graph that has 150 nodes separated into many disconnected components. MATLAB® lays the graph components out on a grid.
s = [1 3 5 7 7 10:100]; t = [2 4 6 8 9 randi([10 100],1,91)]; G = graph(s,t,[],150); h = plot(G);
Update the layout coordinates of the graph object, and specify 'UseGravity'
as true
so that the components are layed out radially around the origin, with more space allotted for the larger components.
layout(h,'force','UseGravity',true)
Graph Layout Based on Edge Weights
Plot a graph using the 'WeightEffect'
namevalue pair to make the length of graph edges proportional to their weights.
Create and plot a directed graph with weighted edges.
s = [1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3]; t = [2 4 5 6 7 3 8 9 10 11 12 13 14]; weights = randi([1 20],1,13); G = graph(s,t,weights); p = plot(G,'Layout','force','EdgeLabel',G.Edges.Weight);
Recompute the layout of the graph using the 'WeightEffect'
namevalue pair, so that the length of each edge is proportional to its weight. This makes it so that the edges with the largest weights are the longest.
layout(p,'force','WeightEffect','direct')
Input Arguments
method
— Layout method
'auto'
(default)  'circle'
 'force'
 'layered'
 'subspace'
 'force3'
 'subspace3'
Layout method, specified as one of the options in the table. The table also lists compatible namevalue pairs to further refine each layout method.
Option  Description  LayoutSpecific NameValue Pairs 

'auto' (default) 
Automatic choice of layout method based on the size and structure of the graph. 
— 
'circle' 
Circular layout. Places the graph nodes on a circle centered at the origin with radius 1. 

'force' 
Forcedirected layout [1]. Uses attractive forces between adjacent nodes and repulsive forces between distant nodes. 

'layered' 
Layered layout [2], [3], [4]. Places the graph nodes into a set of layers, revealing hierarchical structure. By default the layers progress downwards (the arrows of a directed acyclic graph point down). 

'subspace' 
Subspace embedding layout [5]. Plots the graph nodes in a highdimensional embedded subspace, and then projects the positions back into 2D. By default the subspace dimension is either 100 or the total number of nodes, whichever is smaller. 

'force3'  3D forcedirected layout. 

'subspace3'  3D subspace embedding layout. 

Example: layout(H,'layered')
Example: layout(H,'force3','Iterations',10)
Example: layout(H,'subspace','Dimension',50)
NameValue Arguments
Specify optional pairs of arguments as
Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN
, where Name
is
the argument name and Value
is the corresponding value.
Namevalue arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the
pairs does not matter.
Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose
Name
in quotes.
Example: layout(H,'subspace','Dimension',200)
Iterations
— Number of forcedirected layout iterations
100
(default)  positive scalar integer
Number of forcedirected layout iterations, specified as the
commaseparated pair consisting of 'Iterations'
and a
positive scalar integer.
This option is available only when method
is
'force'
or 'force3'
.
Example: layout(H,'force','Iterations',250)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
WeightEffect
— Effect of edge weights on layout
'none'
(default)  'direct'
 'inverse'
Effect of edge weights on layout, specified as the commaseparated
pair consisting of 'WeightEffect'
and one of the
values in this table. If there are multiple edges between two nodes (as
in a directed graph with an edge in each direction, or a multigraph),
then the weights are summed before computing
'WeightEffect'
.
This option is available only when method
is
'force'
or 'force3'
.
Value 
Description 


Edge weights do not affect the layout. 

Edge length is proportional to the edge weight,


Edge length is inversely proportional to the edge
weight, 
Example: layout(H,'force','WeightEffect','inverse')
UseGravity
— Gravity toggle for layouts with multiple components
'off'
or
false
(default)  'on'
or true
Gravity toggle for layouts with multiple components, specified as the
commaseparated pair consisting of 'UseGravity'
and
either 'off'
, 'on'
,
true
, or false
. A value of
'on'
is equivalent to true
,
and 'off'
is equivalent to
false
.
By default, MATLAB^{®} lays out graphs with multiple components on a grid. The
grid can obscure the details of larger components since they are given
the same amount of space as smaller components. With
'UseGravity'
set to 'on'
or
true
, multiple components are instead layed out
radially around the origin. This layout spreads out the components in a
more natural way, and provides more space for larger components.
This option is available only when method
is
'force'
or 'force3'
.
Example: layout(H,'force','UseGravity',true)
Data Types: char
 logical
XStart
— Starting xcoordinates for nodes
vector
Starting xcoordinates for nodes, specified as the commaseparated
pair consisting of 'XStart'
and a vector of node
coordinates. Use this option together with 'YStart'
to specify 2D starting coordinates (or with 'YStart'
and 'ZStart'
to specify 3D starting coordinates)
before iterations of the forcedirected algorithm change the node
positions.
This option is available only when method
is
'force'
or 'force3'
.
Example: layout(H,'force','XStart',x,'YStart',y)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
YStart
— Starting ycoordinates for nodes
vector
Starting ycoordinates for nodes, specified as the commaseparated
pair consisting of 'YStart'
and a vector of node
coordinates. Use this option together with 'XStart'
to specify 2D starting coordinates (or with 'XStart'
and 'ZStart'
to specify 3D starting coordinates)
before iterations of the forcedirected algorithm change the node
positions.
This option is available only when method
is
'force'
or 'force3'
.
Example: layout(H,'force','XStart',x,'YStart',y)
Example: layout(H,'force','XStart',x,'YStart',y,'ZStart',z)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
ZStart
— Starting zcoordinates for nodes
vector
Starting zcoordinates for nodes, specified as the commaseparated
pair consisting of 'ZStart'
and a vector of node
coordinates. Use this option together with 'XStart'
and 'YStart'
to specify the starting
x, y, and z
node coordinates before iterations of the forcedirected algorithm
change the node positions.
This option is available only when method
is
'force3'
.
Example: layout(H,'force','XStart',x,'YStart',y,'ZStart',z)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
Direction
— Direction of layers
'down'
(default)  'up'
 'left'
 'right'
Direction of layers, specified as the commaseparated pair consisting
of 'Direction'
and either 'down'
,
'up'
, 'left'
or
'right'
. For directed acyclic (DAG) graphs, the
arrows point in the indicated direction.
This option is available only when method
is
'layered'
.
Example: layout(H,'layered','Direction','up')
Sources
— Nodes to include in the first layer
node indices  node names
Nodes to include in the first layer, specified as the commaseparated
pair consisting of 'Sources'
and one or more node
indices or node names.
This table shows the different ways to refer to one or more nodes either by their numeric node indices or by their node names.
Form  Single Node  Multiple Nodes 

Node index  Scalar Example:  Vector Example: 
Node name  Character vector Example:  Cell array of character vectors Example: 
String scalar Example:  String array Example: 
This option is available only when method
is
'layered'
.
Example: layout(H,'layered','Sources',[1 3
5])
Sinks
— Nodes to include in the last layer
node indices  node names
Nodes to include in the last layer, specified as the commaseparated
pair consisting of 'Sinks'
and one or more node
indices or node names.
This option is available only when method
is
'layered'
.
Example: layout(H,'layered','Sinks',[2 4
6])
AssignLayers
— Layer assignment method
'auto'
(default)  'asap'
 'alap'
Layer assignment method, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'AssignLayers'
and one of the options
in this table.
Option  Description 

'auto' (default)  Node assignment uses either 'asap'
or 'alap' , whichever is more
compact. 
'asap'  As soon as possible. Each node is assigned to the first possible layer, given the constraint that all its predecessors must be in earlier layers. 
'alap'  As late as possible. Each node is assigned to the last possible layer, given the constraint that all its successors must be in later layers. 
This option is available only when method
is
'layered'
.
Example: layout(H,'layered','AssignLayers','alap')
Dimension
— Dimension of embedded subspace
positive scalar integer
Dimension of embedded subspace, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'Dimension'
and a positive scalar
integer.
The default integer value is
min([100, numnodes(G)])
.For the
'subspace'
layout, the integer must be greater than or equal to 2.For the
'subspace3'
layout, the integer must be greater than or equal to 3.In both cases, the integer must be less than the number of nodes.
This option is available only when method
is
'subspace'
or
'subspace3'
.
Example: layout(H,'subspace','Dimension',d)
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
Center
— Center node in circular layout
node index  node name
Center node in circular layout, specified as the commaseparated pair
consisting of 'Center'
and one of the values in this
table.
Value  Example 

Scalar node index  1 
Character vector node name  'A' 
String scalar node name  "A" 
This option is available only when method
is
'circle'
.
Example: layout(H,'circle','Center',3)
places node
three at the center.
Example: layout(H,'circle','Center','Node1')
places
the node named 'Node1'
at the center.
Tips
Use the
Layout
namevalue pair to change the layout of a graph when you plot it. For example,plot(G,'Layout','circle')
plots the graphG
with a circular layout.When using the
'force'
or'force3'
layout methods, a best practice is to use more iterations with the algorithm instead of usingXStart
,YStart
, andZStart
to restart the algorithm using previous outputs. The result of executing the algorithm with 100 iterations is different in comparison to executing 50 iterations, and then restarting the algorithm from the ending positions to execute 50 more iterations.
References
[1] Fruchterman, T., and E. Reingold,. “Graph Drawing by Forcedirected Placement.” Software — Practice & Experience. Vol. 21 (11), 1991, pp. 1129–1164.
[2] Gansner, E., E. Koutsofios, S. North, and K.P Vo. “A Technique for Drawing Directed Graphs.” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. Vol.19, 1993, pp. 214–230.
[3] Barth, W., M. Juenger, and P. Mutzel. “Simple and Efficient Bilayer Cross Counting.” Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications. Vol.8 (2), 2004, pp. 179–194.
[4] Brandes, U., and B. Koepf. “Fast and Simple Horizontal Coordinate Assignment.” LNCS. Vol. 2265, 2002, pp. 31–44.
[5] Y. Koren. “Drawing Graphs by Eigenvectors: Theory and Practice.” Computers and Mathematics with Applications. Vol. 49, 2005, pp. 1867–1888.
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