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This paper describes the design decisions and algorithms behind these graphics, and discusses the reaction on the Web. The paper suggests that this type of complex layered graph is effective for displaying large data sets to a mass audience. The paper provides a mathematical analysis of how this layered graph relates to traditional stacked graphs and to techniques such as ThemeRiver, showing how each method is optimizing a different "Energy function". Finally, the paper discusses techniques for coloring and ordering the layers of such graphs.
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