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Drawing Contour Trees in the Plane
November 2011 (vol. 17 no. 11)
pp. 1599-1611
Christian Heine, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig
Dominic Schneider, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig
Hamish Carr, University of Leeds, Leeds
Gerik Scheuermann, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig
The contour tree compactly describes scalar field topology. From the viewpoint of graph drawing, it is a tree with attributes at vertices and optionally on edges. Standard tree drawing algorithms emphasize structural properties of the tree and neglect the attributes. Applying known techniques to convey this information proves hard and sometimes even impossible. We present several adaptions of popular graph drawing approaches to the problem of contour tree drawing and evaluate them. We identify five esthetic criteria for drawing contour trees and present a novel algorithm for drawing contour trees in the plane that satisfies four of these criteria. Our implementation is fast and effective for contour tree sizes usually used in interactive systems (around 100 branches) and also produces readable pictures for larger trees, as is shown for an 800 branch example.

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Index Terms:
Contour tree, graph layout.
Christian Heine, Dominic Schneider, Hamish Carr, Gerik Scheuermann, "Drawing Contour Trees in the Plane," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1599-1611, Nov. 2011, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2010.270
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