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Experimental library to visualize complex networks

Project description

Build Test and Publish


Helios is a python library implemented in C for layouting and visualizing complex networks.


Helios implements a force layout algorithm based on the FR algorithm [1].


Requires python headers and a C11 compatible compiler, such as gcc or clang.

To install it, simply run:

pip install helios

or clone this repository and install it from master by running:

pip install git+git://


Currently only the FR layout interface is implemented.

Example initialization with a small network.

import numpy as np
import helios

positions = np.random.random((4, 3))

edges = np.array([

# positions is required to be an contiguous float32 numpy array
positions = np.ascontiguousarray(positions,dtype=np.float32)

# edges is required to be an contiguous uint64 numpy array
edges = np.ascontiguousarray(edges,dtype=np.uint64)

# speeds is required to be an contiguous uint64 numpy array
speeds = np.zeros(positions.shape,dtype=np.float32)

layout = helios.FRLayout(edges,positions,speeds)

Two APIS are available to iterate the layouts, synchronized and aynchronous.

Example of the synchronized API:

print("Initial positions:")
print("Final positions:")

Example using the aynchronous API:

print("Initial positions:")
if(layout.running()): #False
  print("It is running...")
  print("Not running...")
print("Current positions:")
print("Current positions:")
if(layout.running()): #True
  print("It is running...")
  print("Not running...")
print("Final positions:")

You can restart the layout once it stopped. Subsequent calls to the start method have no effect if the layout is running.

Compiling on windows:

You need m2w64 and libpython to compile it.

conda install -c anaconda libpython
conda install -c msys2 m2w64-toolchain

You can now use pip install:

pip install ./

or compile distribs:

python sdist bdist_wheel

Creating a build environment using:

conda create -n buildpy36 -c default -c anaconda -c msys2 python=3.6 numpy libpython m2w64-toolchain 

change python=3.6 and buildpy36 to the version of python you would like to use.


[1] Fruchterman, T. M. J., & Reingold, E. M. (1991). Graph Drawing by Force-Directed Placement. Software: Practice and Experience, 21(11).

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