Cyclic Leveling of Directed Graphs

  • Christian Bachmaier
  • Franz J. Brandenburg
  • Wolfgang Brunner
  • Gergö Lovász
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5417)


The Sugiyama framework is the most commonly used concept for visualizing directed graphs. It draws them in a hierarchical way and operates in four phases: cycle removal, leveling, crossing reduction, and coordinate assignment.

However, there are situations where cycles must be displayed as such, e. g., distinguished cycles in the biosciences and processes that repeat in a daily or weekly turn. This forbids the removal of cycles. In their seminal paper Sugiyama et al. also introduced recurrent hierarchies as a concept to draw graphs with cycles. However, this concept has not received much attention since then.

In this paper we investigate the leveling problem for cyclic graphs. We show that minimizing the sum of the length of all edges is \({\mathcal{NP}}\)-hard for a given number of levels and present three different heuristics for the leveling problem. This sharply contrasts the situation in the hierarchical style of drawing directed graphs, where this problem is solvable in polynomial time.


Directed Graph Minimum Span Tree Leveling Problem Bipartite Subgraph Cyclic Case 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Bachmaier
    • 1
  • Franz J. Brandenburg
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Brunner
    • 1
  • Gergö Lovász
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PassauGermany

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