Visualisation and Analysis of Large and Complex Networks (VALACON)

Members of IVRG are strongly involved with NICTA’s VALACON (Visualisation and Analysis of Large and Complex Networks) project.Many discrete scientific models are relational, that is, they consist of a set of entities and the relationships between them. When such models are small and simple, they can be analyzed by hand; however, increased data availability has led to many large and complex relational models. Examples include:

  • Social networks – these include telephone call graphs (used to trace terrorists), money movement networks (used to detect money laundering) sexual contact graphs (used to analyse epidemics);
  • Biochemical networks – protein-protein interaction networks, biochemical pathways, and phylogenetic structures are used by biologists to analyse and engineer biochemical materials.
  • Sensor networks – Analyzing sensor networks is a significant problem for future applications. VALACON, in collaboration with an Australian SME, aims to provide analysts with tools that enable them to quickly understand a running network, for tuning and fault detection.

The key scientific challenges of this project include scalability, visual complexity, good integration with analysis methods, effective 3D visualisation and navigation issues. This project aims to design and implement systems to enhance human understanding of such networks.

Project Overview


To design, implement and evaluate a new, integrated framework of graph drawing algorithms in 2D and 3D for visualisation of large, complex networks.

Key Points:

  • Develop techniques which create visualisations of networks that contain millions of nodes.
  • Provide navigation methods for effective and efficient navigation of large data sets.
  • Integration of visualisation with analytical methods and tools for data mining.
  • Extends to visualisation support for 3D.

VALACON is led by Dr. Seokhee Hong, with several researchers and PhD students.

A gallery of images produced by VALACON researchers is here .

VALACON uses the GEOMI software.