Graphic Representations of Hierarchical Systems: Preliminary Study

Clare Beghtol


Graphic representations are used to explain or illustrate concepts in many contexts. This paper presents initial research into the graphic representation of hierarchical systems. In particular, the visual arguments presented in tree and circular hierarchical diagrams are described and discussed using a number of particular examples. Since the graphic display for a hierarchical system represents the relationships recognized by that system, a study of characteristic types of graphic display contributes to our knowledge of the theory that underlies the system. The extent of conceptual match between the visual and classificatory arguments represents the degree to which the graphic form depicts the theory it purports to illustrate.

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