Check out my tool to visualize complex networks in LaTeX

In recent years, complex network theory becomes more and more popular within the scientific community. Besides a solid mathematical base on which these theories are built on, a visual representation of the networks allow communicating complex relationships to a broad audience.

Nowadays, a variety of great visualization tools are available, which helps to structure, filter, manipulate and of course to visualize the networks. However, they come with some limitations, including the need for specific software tools, difficulties to embed the outputs properly in a LaTeX file (e.g. font type, font size, additional equations and math symbols needed,…) and challenges in the post-processing of the graphs, without rerunning the software tools again.

In order to overcome this issues, the package tikz-network was created. Some of the features are:

  • LaTeX is a standard for scientific publications and widely used
  • beside LaTeX no other software is needed
  • no programming skills are needed
  • simple to use but allows 100% control over the output
  • easy for post-processing (e.g. adding drawings, texts, equations,\dots)
  • same fonts, font sizes, mathematical symbols, \dots as in the document
  • no quality loss of the output due to the pdf format
  • networks are easy to adapt or modify for lectures or small examples
  • able to visualize larger networks
  • three-dimensional visualization of (multilayer) networks
  • compatible with other visualization tools
Jürgen Hackl Written by:

Dr. Jürgen Hackl is an Assistant Professor at the University of Liverpool. His research interests lie in complex urban systems and span both computational modelling and network science.