Automatic Graph Layouts Using the Layout Graph Button (incl. Layered Hierarchical Layout)

The layout of a graph in a graph view can be changed using either the icons on the left side of the canvas or the drop-down menu called “Layout Graph” in the toolbar of Soley Studio. Following basic layouts are available:

  • Layered Hierarchical
  • Organic
  • Circular
  • Hierarchical

Using the Layout Graph menu in the toolbar

With a graph view open, go to the toolbar on the top and open the Layout Graph drop-down menu. In there, choose the layout that you want and it will be immediately applied to your graph. The default layout is Organic, as it is the least computationally expensive
The hierarchical layout is the most computationally expensive and can take a few seconds to process. It is therefore not recommended to use the hierarchical layout, especially for big graphs with several thousand edges or nodes. We are working on improving the performance.
A special case is the layered hierarchical layout, as described next.

Layered Hierarchical graph layout

The default hierarchical view is defined by outgoing edges. On top of the hierarchy are the nodes with no outgoing edges. All nodes connected via outgoing edges are represented in the layers below.
If you are not happy with the default hierarchy, you can define the layer per node data set yourself using the layered hierarchical layout.

  1. Click on the “Layered Hierarchic” button in the drop-down menu “Layout Graph” in the toolbar, or choose it from the menu.
  2. A dialog will pop up, allowing you to define the layers of your hierarchical layout. The list contains all node data sets that exist in the graph you are operating on. This includes custom data sets, in case such sets exist. Each data set can be shown as one layer in a hierarchical view.
toolbar hierarchical layout
Layered Hierarchical Layout Dialog

3. You can use the up/down buttons or drag-and-drop to re-order the data sets. When applying the layered hierarchical layout, the first layer is on the top, the second layer below the first and so on.

4. Press “OK” to close the configuration dialog. The layout of the open graph view will be adapted according to your settings.

Hierarchical Layout
Default Hierarchical Layout

Layered Hierarchical Layout
Layered Hierarchical Layout, with a different hierarchy



The layer assignment happens sequentially and only for nodes that are not assigned to a layer yet. That means that if the same node is part of two sets the first set in the list will define the layer of the node. As an example consider this:

If you have 2 layers “1 – All nodes of class Part” and “2 – All nodes of class Part with cost > 100” then, after you apply the layered hierarchic layout, all Part nodes will appear on the same layer, as defined in step 1. Step 2 will not cause any changes, as all part nodes have already been assigned a hierarchical layer.

If you reorder layers so that “1 – All nodes of class Part with cost > 100″ and “2 – All nodes of class Part” then you will see 2 layers. The second layer will contain all Part nodes that do not match the cost > 100 criterion.

Further, it is currently not possible to define the same layer for two data sets, but we want to add this feature in the future.

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