I hope this finds someone with the right expertise here.

I am currently working with a data set on product information that has - a defined search tree structure - product types - synonyms for product types - usages for product types

Most of the above are connected in an n:m fashion, e.g. - a product type can be assigned to multiple nodes in the search tree, a node comprises multiple product types - there are multiple synonyms for a product type, a synonym can apply to multiple product types - there are various usages for a product type and different product types can be linked to the sames usage

I would like to build a visual representation of the above to get a better idea of its complexity myself and above all to be able to make it accessible to others better than just with a list of numbers generated from various queries/analyses on the data set. I am thinking of a network grid with linkages between the different elements. A comparable application I can think of is this: http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com/

Can anyone recommend an easily accessible way (i.e., steep learning curve, 4-6 hours from scratch)? What tools out there facilitate this.

Data can be generated in lists (text files, unique keys per element, all linkages defined). If there is something that auto-magically pulls this from a MySQL DB I wouldn't complain.

Any hints are greatly appreciated!


If you have experience with R, you could look into the tkplot() function in the igraph package, http://igraph.sourceforge.net/.

If you have experience with javascript, you could look into the D3.js, https://github.com/mbostock/d3/wiki/Force-Layout.

If you don't know R or javascript, it could take you more than 4-6 hours to figure these out.

Another alternative that I have not played with myself is Gephi, https://gephi.org/. I'm not sure how steep the learning curve is there, but it looks like it has a GUI which might allow you to create at least a tolerable network graph relatively quickly.


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