Grant: Graph Comprehension


Picture showing Graph Comprehension logo

The usefulness of graphs for visualisation has often been reported when readers have to learn from texts. Educators have emphasised how important it is that students learn how to interpret graphs and diagrams as well as to produce them from texts. Graphs and diagrams help us thinking and solving problems.

In the project we investigate the comprehension of hierarchical graphs. Everyday examples of hierarchical graphs include, among others, the structure of computer file systems, family trees, preference trees etc.

The objectives of the project are to identify psychological processes underlying comprehension, and to test a model of graph comprehension. We will do so by using state-of-the-art eye-tracking techniques. The results of the project will provide design criteria for how to draw hierarchical graphs to optimise comprehension by humans.


  • Margit Höfler
  • Christof Körner
  • Barbara Tröbinger