Nice-to-have request: log interpolation in Size and Width Options

Aug 15, 2009 at 7:05 PM

I love the Autofill Columns feature, and frequently use the Vertex Size and Edge Width options to represent ancillary metrics of my graphs.

Most of these metrics seem to have power law-like distributions, which I suppose is to be expected in this game; that is, lots and lots of relatively tiny values, and a few huge ones.

The interpolation in the Options panes of Autofill Columns seems to be linear, however, meaning that my graphs end up with most vertices tiny, and a couple of them huge; it's hard to see the dynamic range among the values.

That's easy enough to fix by hand; I create a new "log metric" column, and then key the Option Size or Width off that. Then one can see the differences in values among exponentially distributed metrics a little more easily.

However, if/when you get around to it, it would be great to have a check box option that would automatically do a log interpolation.  This is a nice-to-have not a must-have feature request, though.

Endless thanks to Tony, Marc and the team for a great tool, as always
--- Pierre

Aug 15, 2009 at 7:19 PM


Good idea, one that will help in quite a few situations.  It's on the feature request list.

In the meantime, I wonder if ignoring outliers would help with your particular data.  Have you tried clicking one of the Options buttons in the Autofill Columns dialog box, then checking the Ignore Outliers checkbox?

-- Tony

Aug 20, 2009 at 6:02 PM


In the next release (, there will be "use a logarithmic mapping" option in the Autofill Columns dialog box for Edge Color, Edge Width, Edge Opacity, Vertex Color, Vertex Size, Vertex Opacity, Vertex Primary Label Fill Color, Vertex Layout Order, Vertex X, Vertex Y, Vertex R, and Vertex Polar Angle.

-- Tony

Sep 1, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Thank you Tony, this is great news.

Thinking more about this, I realized I'd forgotten Infographics 101.  (There are people in this group who teach advanced seminars on this topic, so please correct me...)  I've been taught humans perceive the size of a blob as being proportional to its area, not its radius.  However, I think that "size" in nodexl isproportional to radius. 

Another layout variation which has worked well for me, as an alternative to the "log of metric" parameter, is "square root of metric".  With this input, I think one then gets the area of the resulting blob to be proportional to the metric, not the radius.

-- Pierre

Sep 1, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Good point, Pierre.  I've added this to the feature request list.

-- Tony