KeyLines FAQ: The Graph Engine

In this FAQ blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the KeyLines Graph Engine to understand what it is and how it can help you work with your largest graph datasets.

1. What is the Graph Engine?

The Graph Engine is the section of the KeyLines API responsible for powering graph functions. These functions let you explore your data’s graph structures, e.g. social network analysis, centrality measures, community clusters, etc.

In KeyLines 3.2, we made it possible to separate the Graph Engine from the methods used to render charts. As a result, you can run graph calculations on larger datasets without needing to display every chart element first, or they can even be run on the server.

2. Why should I use the Graph Engine?

Previously, the graph functions were tied to a KeyLines chart and all graph calculations and traversals had to be rendered in your visualization, potentially leaving your users waiting.

With the new Graph Engine, you can:

  • Analyze a subset of the rendered graph, rather than the whole graph
  • Separate server-side graph calculations from the client-side chart
  • Use a dedicated graph analysis server

This gives a faster, more responsive user experience.

3. Is it a graph database?

No. We’ve designed the Graph Engine to perform graph traversals efficiently. It is not designed to hold billions of nodes and edges or act as a back-end environment.

Find out more about integrating with your favorite database

4. How do I use the Graph Engine?

Using the KeyLines Graph Engine is straightforward. You can use any of the functions in the original graph namespace, so there are just a few steps to get an instance up and running:

  1. Create a Graph Engine instance var graph = KeyLines.getGraphEngine();
  2. Load some data var data = {type: ‘LinkChart’, items: [ … ]}; graph.load(data);
  3. Run your graph calculations var degrees = graph.degrees();

5. Will it run with NodeJS?

Yes, KeyLines will run with NodeJS or your preferred alternative runtime system.

6. Is it ready for deployment to my users?

Yes, you can deploy the KeyLines graph engine to users now.

Ready to try the Graph Engine?

The KeyLines Graph Engine is a powerful tool to help you make sense of your connected data. You can give it a try with a free trial of the KeyLines SDK.

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