Immersive Exploration of Hierarchical Networks in VR


The motivation for this project was to enable visualization of hierarchical multi-layer datasets in a VR environment. We believe, that this can improve the visual clutter for large node-links graphs as seen here. The set goals for that project were:

  • Support any number of hierarchical layers.
  • Use the advantages of immersive analytics for hierarchical network exploration.
  • Provide support for room scale,standing and seated experience for maximum flexibility.
  • Provide a flexible navigation through the graph.
  • Intuitive interaction methods.

The complete thesis can be downloaded here. For information about the publication see here


To achieve the proclaimed goals our application focuses on these features:

  • Automatic creation of a force based node layout at runtime.
  • Hierarchical nested layout with transparent nodes.
  • Two Navigation Methods:
    • Free flying
    • Animated teleport
  • Intuitive filtering of the displayed links by a virtual laser pointer.
  • Adaptable flying speed and scale of the virtual scene

Technical requirements

The application is build in WebVR. The current supported browser is Firefox for Windows. Chrome is not supported!

The supported headset is the HTC Vive.


We would love to hear your feedback! Please check out this Google Survey Thank you!

VR - Controls

Desktop - Controls

  • WASD - free fly
  • Shift - increase fly speed (press multiple times, hold not supported)
  • Strg - decrease fly speed (press multiple times, hold not supported)
  • Mouse click - animated Teleport to pointed node
  • Spacebar - animated Teleport to parent Node
  • m - filter links for node
  • l - disable/enable automatic link filtering
  • + - upscale scene (not noticeable in desktop mode)
  • - - upscale scene (not noticeable in desktop mode)