A Topology-Shape-Metrics Framework for Ortho-Radial Graph Drawing

Lukas Barth, Benjamin Niedermann, Ignaz Rutter, Matthias Wolf

Orthogonal drawings, i.e., embeddings of graphs into grids, are a classic topic in Graph Drawing. Often the goal is to find a drawing that minimizes the number of bends on the edges. A key ingredient for bend minimization algorithms is the existence of an orthogonal representation that describes such drawings combinatorially by only listing the angles between the edges around each vertex and the directions of bends on the edges, but neglecting any kind of geometric information such as vertex coordinates or edge lengths. We generalize this idea to ortho-radial representations of ortho-radial drawings, which are embeddings into an ortho-radial grid, whose gridlines are concentric circles around the origin and straight-line spokes emanating from the origin but excluding the origin itself. Unlike the orthogonal case, there exist ortho-radial representations that do not admit a corresponding drawing, for example so-called strictly monotone cycles. An ortho-radial drawing is called valid if it does not contain a strictly monotone cycle. Our first result is that an ortho-radial representation admits a corresponding drawing if and only if it is valid. Previously such a characterization was only known for ortho-radial drawings of paths, cycles, and theta graphs, and in the special case of rectangular drawings of cubic graphs, where the contour of each face is required to be a rectangle. Further, we give a quadratic-time algorithm that tests for an ortho-radial representation whether it is valid, and we show how to draw a valid ortho-radial representation in the same running time. Altogether, this reduces the problem of computing a minimum-bend ortho-radial drawing to the task of computing a valid ortho-radial representation with the minimum number of bends, and hence establishes an ortho-radial analogue of the topology-shape-metrics framework for planar orthogonal drawings by Tamassia.

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