Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Box Diagram Topological Simplifier

"and as you can clearly see by this flowchart..."
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

This is something I've wanted for a long time.

Every so often my work requires me to create 'boundary diagrams,' which are essentially block and connector diagrams which end up resembling a pile of spaghetti. I would think that somewhere out there there would be software that could simplify my diagram to an orientation with the fewest number of crossings as possible, either in the printed circuitboard world or the advanced math world, but I have yet to discover it.

I would want this software to read a Visio or Powerpoint 2-d creation, understand the nodes and connectors, resize the blocks at will to 'cheat' the crossings, move things around, etc. so that I'm guaranteed that my final display will be as simple as can be made in 2D space.

RayfordSteele, Aug 28 2008

Game: Planarity http://www.addictin....com/planarity.html
Along milkfish's lines.. [jutta, Aug 29 2008]

Someone thinking about the same problem http://blogs.msdn.c...twork-diagrams.aspx
[jutta, Aug 29 2008]

Graphviz http://www.graphviz.org/
Graphviz is open-source software that can arrange nodes for readability according to any of many layout algorithms. The base program only processes text files describing the nodes and connections, but there are some GUI programs that use Graphviz too. [Rory O'Kane, Jun 03 2017]


       If only you could diagram this idea, maybe I could understand how it works.
mylodon, Aug 29 2008

       I've seen circuit board layout autorouting software that works extremely well, but generally requires at least 2 layers.   

       Schematic capture software is more like what you describe, and can do some fairly sensible things with trace spacing, keep-aways, etc.   

       Some companies simplify drawings by allowing "air lines" i.e. connections which are specified by matching lables on pins which are connected, but without traces shown. On a computer screen, nets can be clicked upon and change color to show connectivity.   

       Some simulation environments start with "netlists" which are just lists of interconnections and components (blocks in your domain,) and can create schematics using rules.   

       I'll be interested to see if someone comes up with a link for an existing system.
csea, Aug 29 2008

       "Yourdon". HP used to do a software product like this, to generate "bubble" state disgrams. Search under "CASE tools".
8th of 7, Aug 29 2008

       Make a game out of it and have people solve them for you for free. Kind of like a small-scale Mechanical Turk.
milkfish, Aug 29 2008

       There used to be a demo with the Java Development Kit that did something similar to this, but the topology had to be quite simple.
nineteenthly, Aug 29 2008

       If someone did create this you would probably lose your job!!
johnbakersmon, Aug 30 2008

       It turns out that the problem has no solution: such a walk does not exist. ~ Bridges of Konigsberg...
4whom, Aug 31 2008

       I hope I wouldn't lose my job, it consists of more than drawing lines and boxes. Or at least I used to think so... hmmmm....
RayfordSteele, Sep 02 2008

       The problem is to find a planar graph that is isomorphic to any random graph that you may draw, if a planar one exists. I'm sure there are algorithms that do this, and if you google the terms above you may stumble upon one very quickly.
fadereu, Oct 09 2009

       Try Inkscape (open source vector drawing).
loonquawl, Oct 09 2009

       I'd guess this is related to the travelling salesman problem, and likewise computationally difficult (the time required increasing exponentially with the complexity of the diagram) - particularly if you want the guaranteed simplest diagram.
spidermother, Oct 09 2009

       I didn't know Graphviz could do that. I'll have to look into it some more. I have for a while wanted an EDA tool where I could just write a netlist and it would generate a schematic, because I find schematic capture inefficient and annoying. Maybe Graphviz could help.
notexactly, Jun 04 2017

       We just re-read the title as "Botox Dialogical Synthesizer" which is rubbish but sounds suitably half-baked ...
8th of 7, Jun 04 2017


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle