Blockwise Human Brain Network Visual Comparison Using NodeTrix Representation

Xinsong Yang, Lei Shi, Madelaine Daianu, Hanghang Tong, Qingsong Liu, Paul Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Visually comparing human brain networks from multiple population groups serves as an important task in the field of brain connectomics. The commonly used brain network representation, consisting of nodes and edges, may not be able to reveal the most compelling network differences when the reconstructed networks are dense and homogeneous. In this paper, we leveraged the block information on the Region Of Interest (ROI) based brain networks and studied the problem of blockwise brain network visual comparison. An integrated visual analytics framework was proposed. In the first stage, a two-level ROI block hierarchy was detected by optimizing the anatomical structure and the predictive comparison performance simultaneously. In the second stage, the NodeTrix representation was adopted and customized to visualize the brain network with block information. We conducted controlled user experiments and case studies to evaluate our proposed solution. Results indicated that our visual analytics method outperformed the commonly used node-link graph and adjacency matrix design in the blockwise network comparison tasks. We have shown compelling findings from two real-world brain network data sets, which are consistent with the prior connectomics studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7534826
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain Network
  • Hybrid Representation
  • Visual Comparison


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