VR vs. 2D: Community Network Visualization 

Project 1 Software and In-Class activity Report and Evaluation 

Dave Song Spring 2023 

If you are interested in creating:


Having recently transitioned my intended concentration to computer science, I was interested in evaluating existing software and tools used to visualize community networks.

Project Overview:

The initial motivation for Project 1 was to accomplish following goals:

Major Pivots:

Twitter API

VR Network Visualization Software

Project Timeline

The project timeline can be found here.

Project Summary:

In order to evaluate VR visualization as well as accomplish the aforementioned project goals, two versions of network visualization were created:

Unity Project Summary

With the developed Unity app, users can:

Through in-class activity focusing on the comparison of the two versions of network visualization, I could gather the responses and feedback as displayed below.


Overall, through comparison questions (asking which one performs better: Gephi vs. VR):

Some of the features users wanted to have for the Unity app were:

Noticeable benefits of the VR application were:


Since the Unity force-directed graph application was made for project 1, it had several shortcomings as mentioned in the in-class activity evaluation.

When visualizing networks, it is important to give the user:

Moreover, I received another valuable feedback from Project 1, which is that the 3D space visualization of nodes and edges requires precise calibration of mass, edge transparency, and other physics settings to maintain well-clustered networks. During the project, I struggled to obtain a stabilized force-directed graph since graph script primarily utilizes spring joints and colliders. Moving forward, I plan to explore different algorithms to cluster nodes instead of relying solely on the force-directed approach. Additionally, I aim to enable scaling of the graph and nodes based on the number of connections within the network.

Future work and Conclusion:

Overall, in order to develop an effective network visualization tool in VR, users should be able to scale the network as as well as to see nodes in different sizes — design similar to that of Gephi. Comparison and evaluation of the VR application with Gephi should be conducted again when the prototype has those vital featurse implemented.