Setting dynamic filters in NodeXL has been somewhat like rummaging around in the dark: without a way to see the distribution beneath a filter the user only knows the max and min values, not where the bulk of the observed data is located. This version of NodeXL (188.8.131.52) features an improvement to the Dynamic Filters feature used to limit the nodes and edges displayed in the network visualization pane. Earlier versions of Dynamic Filters allowed users to select a range for each attribute associated with the Edges and Vertices worksheet. In the last version of NodeXLwe added an automated feature for creating those distribution histograms and placing them in a stack on the Overall Metrics worksheet after the user runs the “Graph Metrics” feature. That is helpful but the worksheet is far from the user when they are setting the ranges within the Dynamic Filters dialog. Now, the current release adds “sparklines” to the Dynamic Filters dialog box: as you set the upper and lower bounds for any network edge or vertex attribute, you can see how much of the distribution is included and excluded in the display.
This is one of several features added to NodeXL to make it easier for users to explore their networks and find actionable insights. We have added sparklines in the dynamic filters interface in NodeXL so that you can now see the shape of a value’s distribution as you set the maximum and minimum values to be included in the filter. Histograms also now appear in the Overall Metrics tab of the NodeXL worksheet where they convey the distribution of the major network attributes in the graph.