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skitter viz using hypviewer
skitter and hypviewer
Recently I spent a couple of days porting the hypviewer library to Solaris
2.7 and FreeBSD 3.1. Hypviewer is a library for viewing large graphs. It
uses a layout in hyperbolic space and projects the space into a unit sphere.
Hypviewer was developed by Tamara Munzer at Stanford University.
I've written a quick program to convert skitter data (in ARTS format) to
the format used by the hypviewer file reader. Here are some initial results
viewing a large skitter dataset for source riesling.caida.org, with
roughly 29,000 destinations. This dataset is from February 18th, 1999.
Note that links are reddish in color on their way out of a node and blue
on their way in to a node.
This image shows that many paths from our source (riesling.caida.org)
traverse 18.104.22.168. The source is not visible, but is in one of
the clouds in the left of the sphere. Note the outdegree of
22.214.171.124; it has many next hops. There are also a number of
large networks behind this router, as seen by the clusters of nodes
and links in the right side of the sphere.
One of the most interesting things about hypviewer is its ability
to reduce clutter in the neighborhood of a node (rendering a readable
local topology in a huge graph), while still allowing easy navigation
of the entire graph. This is due in large part to the use of
hyperbolic space, but also the layout algorithm. This particular
image shows the neighborhood of 126.96.36.199 while indicating the
large portions of the network elsewhere (in the top and left of the
Here's a case where there are many paths through a router
(188.8.131.52), but most of the paths appear to be to
It should be noted that all of the screenshots above were taken from a
single run on a single dataset. It's difficult to appreciate this
software until you play with it and start realizing its potential. Not
so much as a visualization system in and of itself, but as a powerful
navigation system for network measurement data. There are interfaces for
node and link selection, node searching and animated navigation,
grouping, etc. which could prove useful when tied to a user interface
for large skitter datasets; the graph in hypviewer gives visual cues
as to what relationships (and correlations) may exist among different
For some examples using hypviewer to view AS paths seen in BGP from one