Microsoft Automatic Graph Layout

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Microsoft Automatic Graph Layout (MSAGL) is a .NET library for automatic graph layout. It was created by Lev Nachmanson at Microsoft Research.

Earlier versions carried the name GLEE (Graph Layout Execution Engine).


The MSAGL software supplies three programming libraries:

  • Microsoft.MSAGL.dll, a device-independent graph layout engine;
  • Microsoft.MSAGL.Drawing.dll, a device-independent implementation of graphs as graphical user interface objects, with all kinds of graphical attributes, and support for interface events such as mouse actions;
  • Microsoft.MSAGL.GraphViewerGDI.dll, a Windows.Forms-based graph viewer control.

A trivial application is supplied to demonstrate the viewer.


MSAGL performs layout based on principles of the Sugiyama scheme; it produces so called layered, or hierarchical, layouts (according to the MSAGL home page). Modified Coffman-Graham scheduling algorithm is then used to find a layout that would fit in a given space. More detailed description of the algorithm can be found in U.S. Patent 7,932,907.

At some time, it did not support a wide range of different layout algorithms, unlike, for instance, GraphViz or GUESS.

It does not appear to support incremental layout.

Availability and licensing[edit]

MSAGL is distributed in a binary form only. A commercial license has to be bought, except for MSDN subscribers, who can download a copy and license key as part of their subscription.

See also[edit]

Related software 

External links[edit]