Algorithms can modify the layout, the set of selected elements, the size and color of elements, or compute a metric. As explained in the quick presentation of the GUI, algorithms are accessed through the Algorithm list, located in the left panel.

The standard Tulip tool contains a lot of frequently updated and improved algorithms. With its plugin manager system, you can also search among databases to import or even implement your own algorithms and integrate them in Tulip.


This group contains algorithms managing the graph structure.

  • Clustering:

    These operations give you the ability to partition your graph and to group the elements by similarity, creating clusters.

  • Topological test:

    It exists several categories of graph topologies, most allowing certain properties or algorithms to be computed easier. The basic tests can be found in this sub group.

  • Topology update:

    If your graph does not comply to the exigences of a distinctive topology, you have here functions to transform and adapt it.

  • Triangulation:

    The algorithms of this group allow to generate high-quality triangular meshes of your graph. This kind of mesh can be useful in order to prepare the computation of a new graph layout ensuring some geometric properties (“mental map” preservation).


This algorithm performs a color mapping on the nodes or the edges color. The property on which the color scale have to be applied can be specified. Further modularity is achieved as the user is free to select a color scale among several presets or to create his own. The color scale can also use different gradients, from a smooth progression to a more discontinued ramp.


You can use this operation to copy the values of an existing property as string values into the viewLabel property, allowing a display of these values in the Node Link Diagram view. This action can also be performed through contextual menus in the Spreadsheet view.


Tulip allows the visualization of information, and thus, provides several layout algorithms to display information and data in a neat fashion.

  • Basic:

    The standard functions can be found in this sub group such as the Circular display or the Random layout.

  • Force Directed:

    These layouts try to place nodes so that the distance in the graph (specific metric on the edges) should be the closest to the distance on the drawing. Known algorithms are FM^3, GEM Frick and Kamada Kawai.

  • Hierarchical:

    Those representations, in accord to their name, are perfect for presenting hierarchical structures or graph showing precedence relationships. The Balloon and the Sugiyama algorithms are good examples of such layout.

  • Misc:

    This sub group contains miscellaneous algorithms, notably the packing and overlap removal algorithms.

  • Multilevel:

    Multilevel layout is computed by including gradually the initial nodes into a layout, thus iteratively improving the node placement. The MMM and the fast multipole layout follow these steps. The iterativity allows to gradually enhance the representation.

  • Planar:

    These algorithms are specialized in generating aesthetic planar layouts. With minimized edge crossings, those representations offer understandable 2D visualizations.

  • Tree:

    As indicated by the sub group name, these layouts are particularly suited to trees or hierarchical data. They can be applied to any graph because if a graph is not tree it is internally applied to a spanning tree of each of its connected components.


Measure algorithms are used to compute different metrics (on edges or nodes). The computed values are assigned by default to the viewMetric property.

  • Clustering

    One can use those tools to compute useful information to identify clusters and linked elements.

  • Component

    The algorithms here are just what you need if you want to find and decompose your graph in connected components.

  • Graph

    The measures computed in this subsection concern the graph structure. Among the functions available you may find: the betweenness centrality, the degree, the eccentricity or even the K-Cores computation often used in social network analysis.

  • Hierarchical

    Those algorithms are specific for tree and hierarchical representations. You have algorithms allowing to compute for instancce the depth, the induced number of nodes or leaves, the dag level

  • Misc

    This subsection gathers all the miscallaneous computations such as an identity mapping, putting the id of the nodes and edges into another property, or a random metric generation, affecting random values to each element choose property.


Tulip provides two resizing algorithms. Those tools can be used to set the viewSize property (by default) according to some parameters and another property. Several additional options allows you to control the visualization transformations through the minimum and maximum size allowed, the type of element to modify (edge or node) or the proportion to preserve.


Those algorithms simply select a subset of the nodes and/or edges (i.e. they modify the viewSelection property). You can use them to select loops, minimum spanning tree, dag or forest, connected components…