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Drawing Dynamic Trees
July/August 1990 (vol. 7 no. 4)
pp. 21-28

A tree-drawing algorithm that addresses the weaknesses of current approaches to constructing graphical user interfaces is presented. Present algorithms either do not let you draw tree nodes of varying shapes and sizes or they draw such trees in a way that does not produce trees as compact as they could be, which is especially important when diagramming a large system. Also, they cannot reuse layout information when the trees changes, so after every change the layout must be recomputed and the tree redrawn. The main difference between these traditional approaches and the author's approach is that his algorithm is more geometric. Unlike other algorithms, it uses an explicit representation of node and subtree contours, and it stores every contour as a polygon. It has three advantages over traditional algorithms. It allows one to draw trees with nodes of any polygonal shape compactly. The data structure supports insert and delete operations on subtrees. It is simple to implement, yet flexible.

Index Terms:
geometric algorithm; node contours; dynamic trees; tree-drawing algorithm; graphical user interfaces; explicit representation; subtree contours; polygonal shape; data structure; insert; delete; subtrees; computer graphics; trees (mathematics); user interfaces
Citation:
Sven Moen, "Drawing Dynamic Trees," IEEE Software, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 21-28, July-Aug. 1990, doi:10.1109/52.56447
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