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README.md

Clique

A JavaScript library and framework for graph and network visualization and exploration.

Clique is a library for handling, visualizing, and computing with graphs and networks as part of your web application. Clique uses adapters to load in graph data from any source, which is then piped on demand to models and views in the browser. The views provide visualization and user interaction with the graph, while the adapter can trickle in data from even the largest graphs, allowing you to explore graphs step by step, from the bottom up, to formulate insights about your data that are not possible solely from large graph visualization techniques.

This document contains some information about building Clique, Clique's API and the example application that comes with Clique.

Building Clique and Running Tests

To build Clique, you will need NodeJS installed. First, install the Node dependencies:

npm install

Then, run the build action:

npm run build

This should build both the Clique libraries, and the example "bigram" application. To run the example application, you will need to install Tangelo, a Python-packaged webserver:

pip install tangelo

Now you can serve the bigram application via:

npm run serve

and then point your browser to http://localhost:3000.

To run the test suite:

npm test

This will produce a report of passed and failed tests. To investigate coverage, run the coverage test with:

npm run cover

This task produces a summary coverage report on the console, but you can also view a detailed HTML report of coverage of individual files, functions, and lines by doing:

npm run cover:report

and then visiting http://localhost:3000.

Interacting with the Application

The example application runs with a random graph dataset consisting of nodes labeled with the letters of the English alphabet, with randomly chosen links between them. To see a subset of the full graph, type a lower-case letter into the "Name" field, and a radius into the "Radius" field. For instance, try s and 2.

You will now see the neighborhood of the chosen radius about the selected node, which will be colored yellow. To examine the nodes in this graph, you can click on them to see some information about them. You can also select several nodes at once by clicking and dragging the left mouse button on the background. Holding shift during this operation will add the newly selected nodes to the selection, while clicking once on the background will clear the entire selection.

You can also pan and zoom around the graph. Right clicking on the background and then dragging will let you pan, while rolling the mouse wheel up and down will let you zoom.

Clique API

Clique has two major components: a Graph class to explore and annotate a social network graph (implemented as a Backbone model), and an Adapter API which can be implemented to provide a path from any source of graph data into the format required by Graph to do its work.

Graph class

Graph is a JavaScript class with the following properties and methods:

  • new Graph(options) - Unlike an ordinary Backbone model, the Graph constructor does not take an object describing the initial model attributes, but only an options object containing the following properties:

    • adapter - a graph data adapter object.
  • addNeighborhood(options) - This method queries the adapter for the graph neighborhood described by options, and blends that subgraph into the Graph's current view of the network. The options object should contain at least a center property identifying a node in the graph, and the radius property, which specifies how many hops out to go from the center. Any other properties of the options object are bound by the particular adapter associated with this Graph instance.

  • removeNeighborhood(options) - This method removes the neighborhood specified by options.center and options.radius from the Graph's view of the graph. This includes both the nodes and links making up the neighborhood itself, as well as any links connecting the outermost nodes of the neighborhood to the rest of the current view of the graph, if any. Setting options.radius to 0 will cause just the center node to be removed in this manner.

Adapter API

An adapter, in the context of Clique, is any JavaScript object that contains the following methods:

  • findNodes(spec) - returns a jQuery Deferred object that will resolve with a list of node accessor objects matching the spec, which itself is an object of key-value pairs describing the sought pattern from the set of nodes.

  • findNode(spec) - returns a jQuery Deferred object that will resolve with a single node matching spec, or undefined if there is no such node. This is a convenience function that can be implemented in a general way simply by returning this.findNodes()[0], but if there is a more efficient way to compute the result, this method can provide it.

  • neighborhood(options) - returns a jQuery Deferred object that will resolve with a subgraph consisting of the node options.center, and all nodes lying within distance options.radius of it. Typically, options.center would be supplied via a call to findNodes() or findNode(). This method, by default, will not include any nodes with a deleted property set to true; to include these nodes, options.deleted can be set to true. The subgraph should be an object with two properties: nodes, containing a list of nodal data objects (which must contain at least a unique key property); and links, containing a list of objects with a source and target property, each of which contains a key identifying one of the nodes.

  • sync() - causes the original source of the graph data to become synchronized with any changes made to the graph since loading. Only changes made to the data property of the nodes will be written back to the store. For example, the x and y properties used by Cola would not be written back, nor any properties installed by the view to the node's top-level for purposes of controlling rendering, etc. Returns a jQuery Deferred object that can have further actions chained to it.