“spring model” layouts.

neato is a reasonable default tool to use for undirected graphs that aren’t too large (about 100 nodes), when you don’t know anything else about the graph.

neato attempts to minimize a global energy function, which is equivalent to statistical multi-dimensional scaling.

The solution is achieved using stress majorization, though the older Kamada-Kawai algorithm1, using steepest descent, is also available.

PDF Manual

  1. Tomihisa Kamada, Satoru Kawai, An algorithm for drawing general undirected graphs, Information Processing Letters, Volume 31, Issue 1, 1989, Pages 7-15. ↩︎