Honors Program

Honors in Technology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Jessica Keup

Thesis Professor Department

Computer and Information Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Phil Pfeiffer, Teresa Haynes, Chris Wallace


The most common methods for simplifying force-directed graphs are edge-bundling and edge routing. Both of these methods can be done with curved, rather than straight, lines which some researchers have argued. Curved lines have been offered as a solution for clarifying edge resolution. Curved lines were originally thought to be more aesthetically pleasing. 32 computer science students were surveyed and asked questions about straight and curved line graphs. Research conducted by Xu et al. and this study suggests that curved lines make a graph more difficult to understand and slower to read. Research also suggests that curved lines are no more aesthetically pleasing than straight lines. Situations may exist where curved lines are beneficial to a graph’s readability, but it is unclear due to uncontrolled variables in this study. Further study could reveal circumstances when curved lines would be beneficial.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.