Network Visualization By R Shiny With Igraph D3 And Visnetwork

07 April 2018


  1. Objective
  2. Pre-requisites
  3. R Libraries
  4. Example Scenario
  5. Collecting as Graph
  6. R-Code Snippets


The objective of this post is to draw a graph using R Lanaguage with data of edges of the graph. All network data contains the edges list which explains us the Node_connectivity details and the link details. Here this post discuss with the R packages which does the work and plotting very beautiful graphs for users.


So as I said before you need to have this,

  • The Edges list

The edges list should be like this example,

SOURCE,END,LINK Node_A, Node_B, Link1 Node_B, Node_D, Link2 Node_A, Node_C, Link3 Node_C, Node_B, Link4


We know that,

An Edge in a graph, means the link between two nodes or vertices. So here,

  • Node_A, Node_B, Node_C and Node_D are the Vertices.
  • Link1, Link2, Link3 and Link4 are the Edge Labels.

R Libraries

These are three libraries used to form and render the graph in front end.

Example Scenario

Initially i am starting with the commercial example, we can call it as chennai-air-india-flight-network. So here, I am taking a sample data from Air-India flight details which shows flight services from chennai.

The data is like,

ORIGIN,DESTINATION,Flight Number,FREQ,DEPARTURE,ARRIVAL,AIRCRAFT,STOPS Chennai,Ahmedabad,AI 0981,…4..7,17:20,20:00,A-320, Chennai,Bengaluru,AI 0563,1.34567,13:25,14:15,A-319, Chennai,Bengaluru,AI 0563,.2…..,14:25,15:20,A-319, Chennai,Coimbatore,9I 0561,12345.7,05:40,07:00,ATR-72, Chennai,Coimbatore,9I 0561,0.234567,07:20,08:50,ATR-72, Chennai,Coimbatore,AI 0429,1234567,13:30,14:20,A-321, Chennai,Coimbatore,9I 0553,1234567,18:50,20:15,ATR-72, Chennai,Colombo,AI 0273,1234567,05:55,07:20,A-321, …

Now you can realize the collected data From: Chennai, To: AnyCity, which is like Node_A, Node_B edge data as discussed before.

Collecting as Graph

Our ultimate aim is to get the Network paths from the edge list. The network path data should explains us the Node_connectivity among the network vertices. Each nodes connected by the edges and establishes the connectivity in directional links. We need to look for these important parameters shown below.

Parameters :

  • vertices
  • edges
  • link direction
  • No of links between nodes
Methods Involved

The important methods to form the Graph using the package IGraph is shown below.

  • all_simple_paths
  • graph_from_data_frame
    all_simple_paths(graph, from, to = V(graph), mode = c("out", "in", "all","total"))

Results of link Details :

Chennai–>Ahmedabad Chennai–>Bengaluru Chennai–>Coimbatore Chennai–>Colombo Chennai–>Delhi Chennai–>Dubai Chennai–>Goa …

Here you can see the it will render you the paths of a network from one vertice. So iterating through the method with vertices list will give you the all link paths.

The iteration will be,

    l <- unlist(lapply(V(graph) , function(x) all_simple_paths(graph, from=x)), recursive = F)
    paths <- lapply(1:length(l), function(x) as_ids(l[[x]]))

Example Results of Graph Paths :

Chennai–>Ahmedabad–>CityX–>CityY Chennai–>Bengaluru–>CityX …

It will render you list of list, you can convert it into the R data_frame for further process.

Network Viewer - A Simple Tool

Using these methods, I ‘ve create a R Web application to make a quick view of the network implemented with,

  • Shiny
  • networkD3
  • visNetwork
  • igraph


Find the R Source code in my GitHub.


If you find any typos, inaccurate stuffs and doubtful contents in my post, feel free to comment it out.

Relevant and useful comments are always welcome. Lets make this tech community wonderful ...!

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