Effects of curves on graph perception

Weidong Huang, Peter Eades, Seok Hee Hong, Henry Been-Lirn Duh

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Curves have long been used for graph visualization with increased popularity in recent years. Curves are mainly used for two purposes: one is to increase readability and the other is to enhance visual aesthetic pleasingness. Although curves can be visually pleasing, the introduction of curves in graph drawing does not increase readability automatically. Attempts have been made to investigate the usability of curved drawings. However, the results on the effect of curves per se on human graph comprehension has not been conclusive. This paper presents a user study that is to examine the effect of curves when they are introduced to remove crossings. Twenty-six participants were recruited to perform typical graph reading tasks. Task performance and user preference data were collected for analysis. The results indicate that curves can be a useful alternative when crossings are to be present in straight-line drawings. The findings of the study are also discussed along with some of our future research activities in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2016 - Proceedings
EditorsChuck Hansen, Ivan Viola, Xiaoru Yuan
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781509014514
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event9th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2016 - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 19 Apr 201622 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameIEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium
ISSN (Print)2165-8765
ISSN (Electronic)2165-8773


Conference9th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2016


  • aesthetics
  • curve edges
  • graph drawing
  • node-link diagrams
  • readability
  • visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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