As data visualizations go, force-directed graphs can be fun to play with; and intuitively insightful and informative — especially in an executive management dashboard. A force directed graph is a physics-based simulation of visual elements linked as a graph. Elements are acted on by defined forces setup in the visualization layout.
- Repulsion or attraction between elements, subject to maintaining an approximate specified distance between elements;
- Attraction to centers of gravity; and
- Collision prevention.
The interplay of these defined forces make a force-directed graph a richly tactile tool for visualizing complex and dynamic linkages between concepts.
See Github Gist below for details.