24th International Symposium on
Graph Drawing & Network Visualization
19-21 September 2016, Athens, Greece

PhD School on Visualization Software

The PhD School on Visualization Software takes place in September 22-23, 2016, immediately after the Graph Drawing and Network Visualization Symposium.

National Technical University of Athens
Central Library – Multimedia Theatre

Detailed program (contains instructions on how to reach venue): PhDSchoolProgram.pdf


Thursday, September 22, 2016:

Tom Sawyer Visualization Software

Description: The morning session will give an in-depth introduction to Tom Sawyer Software’s research and practical work on graph drawing software. We will explain and demonstrate how we have approached and solved many difficult problems in layout, labeling, and routing when we have had to consider many design considerations all at once. We will explain when problems of graph drawing require graph theory background and when they require more experience in computational geometry.  Our work ranges from the issues of scalability with very large drawings, to problems in complex nested drawings with high-degree nodes, connectors, labels and constraints. A great deal of our somewhat unique work and the solutions we have found have not yet been published in the graph drawing community.
The afternoon session will demonstrate the more broad capabilities of our Tom Sawyer Perspectives graph and data visualization system, and how our software is now used in numerous industries including the public sector, in finance and fraud detection, IT, energy, telecommunications and networking, and in aerospace and manufacturing. As time allows, we will show how we can quickly configure applications to meet very specific needs. We can also discuss whether professors and students would like to use this software in their masters and diploma thesis work, or for doctoral or postdoctoral research, or for student classroom projects.


  • Brendan Madden has worked for thirty years on the design and engineering of advanced graph drawing and data visualization systems. His experience includes working twenty-five years at Tom Sawyer Software and five years working on graph drawing at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center. He studied Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University.

Friday, September 23, 1026:

yFiles Diagramming Software

Description: The tutorial on yFiles will consist of two parts. The morning session will start with an overview over the yFiles product family, its main features and the underlying architecture. Some of the most prominent layout algorithms will be presented, their customization options to optimize the layout result and typical challenges when a theoretical algorithm meets real-life requirements. Furthermore this session will cover various options to create appealing visualizations of the graph elements and to customize user interaction.
The second part will be a tutored practical session where the participants work in groups to fill a given demo application with life. This will build upon the topics presented in the first part e.g. finding a good layout for a given data set, presenting the business data in an appealing way and reduce visual complexity to make the data more approachable. Finally the groups get the chance to present their results and discuss the challenges they met.


  • Christian Brunnermeier studied Computer Science at the University of Passau. He focused on the topic of graph drawing at the chair of Prof. Dr. Brandenburg and graduated with a diploma thesis about an incremental sugiyama algorithm advised by Dr. Wolfgang Brunner. Since 2008 he works at yWorks, first as part of the layout team and now as product lead for yFiles for Java 3.0.
  • Jasper Möller studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Konstanz. He focused on algebraic topology and graph drawing and graduated with a diploma thesis about automatic layout of chemical structures, advised by Prof. Ulrik Brandes. Since 2005 he works at yWorks as part of the yFiles.NET and WPF teams.


Early registration (until August 30): 30 €
Late registration (after August 30): 100 €


Registration covers participation in the workshop and coffee breaks. You should resister through the GD16 registration page.