David C.Y. Fung, Seok-Hee Hong, Dirk Koschützki, Falk Schreiber, Kai Xu
October 18, 2016
Biological data is often structured in the form of complex interconnected networks such as protein interaction and metabolic networks. In this paper, we investigate a new problem of visualising such overlapping biological networks. Two networks overlap if they share some nodes and edges. We present an approach for constructing visualisations of two overlapping networks, based on a restricted three dimensional representation. More specifically, we use three parallel two dimensional planes placed in three dimensions to represent overlapping networks: one for each network (the top and the bottom planes) and one for the overlapping part (in the middle plane). Our method aims to achieve both drawing aesthetics (or conventions) for each individual network, and highlighting the intersection part by them. Using three biological datasets, we evaluate our visualisation design with the aim to test whether overlapping networks can support the visual analysis of heterogeneous and yet interconnected networks.