Fred Hohman
/ CSE Ph.D. Student at GT

Atlas: Local Graph Exploration in a Global Context

James Abello*, Fred Hohman*, Varun Bezzam, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau

Atlas adapts scalable edge decomposition to provide novel modes of large graph exploration, through three coordinated views. A. Our user Don first explores the edge decomposition of a word embedding graph in the Overview by decomposing a graph into 3D graph layers. B. Don then inspects the Ribbon for a summary of the layers. C. From the word "dismayed," in layer 8, Don performs cross-layer exploration, to reach layer 5. Using the Layer view's interactive node-link diagrams, Don discovers a component in the word embedding describing one's surprise, where neutral words (e.g., "surpised" and "surprising") bridge multiple quasi-cliques that describe more positive (e.g., "remarkable" and "astounding") and negative (e.g., "irked" and "incensed") surprise words. Blue perspective planes, and red and green ellipses are illustrative annotations.


Graphs are everywhere, growing increasingly complex, and still lack scalable, interactive tools to support sensemaking. To address this problem, we present Atlas, an interactive graph exploration system that adapts scalable edge decomposition to enable a new paradigm for large graph exploration, generating explorable multi-layered representations. Atlas simultaneously reveals peculiar subgraph structures, (e.g., quasi-cliques) and possible vertex roles in connecting such subgraph patterns. Atlas decomposes million-edge graphs in seconds, scaling to graphs with up to 117 million edges. We present the results from a think-aloud user study with three graph experts and highlight discoveries made possible by Atlas when applied to graphs from multiple domains, including suspicious yelp reviews, insider trading, and word embeddings. Atlas runs in-browser and is open-sourced.


Atlas: Local Graph Exploration in a Global Context
James Abello*, Fred Hohman*, Varun Bezzam, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
ACM Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI). Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2019.
Project PDF Video Code BibTeX * Authors contributed equally


  title={Atlas: Local Graph Exploration in a Global Context},
  author={Abello, James and Hohman, Fred and Bezzam, Varun and Chau, Duen Horng},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces},