Drawing Area Proportional Venn and Euler Diagrams


We consider the problem of drawing Venn diagrams for which each region's area is proportional to some weight (e.g., population or percentage) assigned to that region. These area-proportional Venn diagrams have an enhanced ability over traditional Venn diagrams to visually convey information about data sets with interacting characteristics. We develop algorithms for drawing area-proportional Venn diagrams for any population distribution over two characteristics using circles and over three characteristics using rectangles and near-rectangular polygons; modifications of these algorithms are then presented for drawing the more general Euler diagrams. We present results concerning which population distributions can be drawn using specific shapes. A program to aid further investigation of area-proportional Venn diagrams is also described.

Stirling Chow, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Canada.
Frank Ruskey, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Canada.

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