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Constellation is a graph-focused data visualisation and interactive analysis application enabling data access, federation and manipulation capabilities across large and complex data sets.

Table of Contents

Vision Statement

Constellation is a first class, domain agnostic data visualisation and analysis application enabling the user to solve large and complex data problems in a simple and intuitive way.

  • Users: data analysts, data scientists, and all people interested in graph data analysis.

  • Data analysis domains: graph datasets with rich feature data e.g. social networks, network infrastructure, chemical composition, etc.

Constellation Application

Core Values

Performance over Functionality

The most important value is making sure Constellation stays performant. If this means we have to sacrifice some functionality if it will degrade performance then that’s what we will do. Features are “easy” to add but keeping the application performant is harder.

Generic over Specialisation

Constellation is designed to provide a broad range of functionality with the idea of being a “bridge between tools”. For example Constellation’s Map View is not meant to be a fully fledged mapping tool; for that use ArcGIS.

Usability over Precision

We value sensible defaults in features so you can just use them rather than having to fill out a form of parameters first. This means that running analytics like the “Cosine Similarity Analytic” will be accurate but if you want to tweak this then you will have to use a different method like a Jupyter Notebook.


  • The OpenGL graph display works with NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards that support OpenGL 3.3 or later. It is known to not work with older Intel on-board graphics cards.

Download Constellation

Download Constellation by going to the release page.

Run Constellation

Unzip the bundle and double click the constellation64.bat for Windows or run the bin\constellation shell script for Linux and MacOSX.

Build Constellation

To build Constellation from source code do the following:

  • Download Azul’s Zulu distribution of JDK 11 with JFX 11, either the Windows 64 bit, Linux 64 bit or MacOSX 64 bit

  • Download NetBeans 12

  • Update netbeans_jdkhome in netbeans.conf to point to the Azul Zulu JDK you downloaded (e.g. C:\Program Files\NetBeans-12\netbeans\etc)

  • Apache NetBeans dropped support for the Java Help system but is still required by Constellation. Until we find a solution to #15 there are 2 jar files that have to be manually copied into the NetBeans installation folder.

    • Download org-netbeans-modules-javahelp.jar to C:\Program Files\NetBeans 12\netbeans\platform\modules (using Windows as an example). Note that you will need to override this file when prompted.

    • Download jhall-2.0_05.jar to C:\Program Files\NetBeans 12\netbeans\platform\modules\ext (using Windows as an example)

  • Clone this repository

  • Open the Constellation module suite from NetBeans

  • In the Projects view, expand Important Files > Build Script > Right click > Update dependencies and clean build. This can take around 20 minutes to download the first time depending on your internet connection so feel free to get a and come back later.

  • Start Constellation by right clicking on Constellation > Run

Package Constellation

To package Constellation in a zip bundle do the following:

  • In NetBeans, expand Constellation > Important Files

  • Right click on Build Script and run the build-zip

  • Navigate to the dist folder to get file

  • If you want to use a specific JRE (e.g. zulu11.37.19-ca-fx-jre11.0.6-win_x64) then copy this to the same level as the bin folder and call it jre. This is the default folder name Constellation expects but you can change this from etc\constellation.conf.

Note that Constellation “Core” (which is this repository) is designed to be domain agnostic and work standalone. The version of Constellation available for download from the official website is built with additional plugins and managed via the Constellation-Applications repository.

Contributing to Constellation

For more information please see the contributing guide.


  • Constellation 101 Slides (coming soon)

  • Overview Video (coming later)

  • Quick Start Guide

  • User Guide (coming later)

  • Built in documentation to Constellation exists


Common Troubleshooting Checks

  • You can check whether your graphics card is supported by following these steps:
  1. Click on File > New Graph to create a graph

  2. Click on Experimental > Build Graph > Sphere Graph to create a random graph.

  3. If you can see a graph try to interact with it using the mouse.

  4. If the graph view remains blank, you may not have a supported graphics card.

  • Click on Help > JOGL Version to see the graphics card capabilities of your machine.

  • Click on Help > Show Logs to view Constellation log information.


Third party libraries and assets were used in development of Constellation, please view attribution list for details.