I have a series of mergers and spinoffs that can be represent a timeseries graph or tree that will split and sometimes recombine over time. I'm looking to understand what this type of graph might be called or if there's even a standard term and/or some possibilities of what tools might be utilized in such a visualization. I've seen some similar graphs called dendrograms in a very similar question (and another question), but I haven't run across the ability for a set of lines on a timeline to merge back into lines after they split. Does this type of graph have a more technical name? What tools are used for representing this kind of data?

Below is an small clip of a Linux timeline from this page demonstrating this particular feature. merging timeline

  • $\begingroup$ Such a graph is simple enough to draw. The challenge is to handle the non-planar graphs gracefully: you will need a mechanism for minimizing the inevitable crossings and a graphical means to represent them. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Mar 2, 2020 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


I had the same problem. A directed acyclic graph might be what you are looking for. Perhaps a Sankey diagram will help?


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