The igraph package
igraph is a library for network analysis.
The main goals of the igraph library is to provide a set of data types and functions for 1) pain-free implementation of graph algorithms, 2) fast handling of large graphs, with millions of vertices and edges, 3) allowing rapid prototyping via high level languages like R.
There are many functions in igraph for creating graphs, both
deterministic and stochastic; stochastic graph constructors are called
To create small graphs with a given structure probably the
graph.formula function is easiest. It uses R's formula
interface, its manual page contains many examples. Another option is
graph, which takes numeric vertex ids directly.
graph.atlas creates graph from the Graph Atlas,
graph.famous can create some special graphs.
The igraph include some classic random graphs like the Erdos-Renyi GNP
and GNM graphs (
erdos.renyi.game) and some recent
popular models, like preferential attachment
barabasi.game) and the small-world model
Vertex and edge IDs
Vertices and edges have numerical vertex ids in igraph. Vertex ids are
always consecutive and they start with zero. I.e. for a graph with
the vertices are renumbered to satisfty this criteria.
The same is true for the edges as well, edge ids are always between
It is often desirable to follow vertices along a number of graph operations, and vertex ids don't allow this because of the renumbering. The solution is to assign attributes to the vertices. These are kept by all operations, if possible. See more about attributes in the next section.
In igraph it is possible to assign attributes to the vertices or edges
of a graph, or to the graph itself. igraph provides flexible
constructs for selecting a set of vertices or edges based on their
attribute values, see
iterators for details.
Some vertex/edge/graph attributes are treated specially. One of them
Attribute values can be set to any R object, but note that storing the
graph in some file formats might result the loss of complex attribute
values. All attribute values are preserved if you use
load to store/retrieve your
igraph provides three different ways for visualization. The first is
The second function is
tkplot, which uses a Tk GUI for
basic interactive graph manipulation. (Tk is quite resource hungry, so
don't try this for very large graphs.)
The third way requires the
rgl package and uses OpenGL. See the
rglplot function for the details.
Make sure you read
igraph.plotting before you start
plotting your graphs.
igraph can handle various graph file formats, usually both for reading
and writing. We suggest that you use the GraphML file format for your
graphs, except if the graphs are too big. For big graphs a simpler
format is recommended. See
write.graph for details.
The igraph homepage is at