Example: Spiderweb diagram

Published 2009-11-25 | Author: Dominik Renzel

Such a diagram defines a set of dimensions D = {D1,…,Dn} and a common scale unit range from 0 to a maximal value U. Each individual sample contains a sequence of pairs (Dx,Vx) with 0 <= Vx <= U for all Dx in D.

The diagram is rendered as a spiderweb, where the D dimension axes meet each other in the origin in an angle of 360/D and are each divided in U units. Each sample is rendered as half-opaque colored path along the particular value unit nodes on each dimension. Overlapping parts will be rendered in a composite color.

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Spiderweb diagram

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% Spiderweb Diagram
% Author: Dominik Renzel
% Date; 2009-11-11


\newcommand{\D}{7} % number of dimensions (config option)
\newcommand{\U}{7} % number of scale units (config option)

\newdimen\R % maximal diagram radius (config option)
\newdimen\L % radius to put dimension labels (config option)

\newcommand{\A}{360/\D} % calculated angle between dimension axes  


  \path (0:0cm) coordinate (O); % define coordinate for origin

  % draw the spiderweb
  \foreach \X in {1,...,\D}{
    \draw (\X*\A:0) -- (\X*\A:\R);

  \foreach \Y in {0,...,\U}{
    \foreach \X in {1,...,\D}{
      \path (\X*\A:\Y*\R/\U) coordinate (D\X-\Y);
      \fill (D\X-\Y) circle (1pt);
    \draw [opacity=0.3] (0:\Y*\R/\U) \foreach \X in {1,...,\D}{
        -- (\X*\A:\Y*\R/\U)
    } -- cycle;

  % define labels for each dimension axis (names config option)
  \path (1*\A:\L) node (L1) {\tiny Security};
  \path (2*\A:\L) node (L2) {\tiny Content Quality};
  \path (3*\A:\L) node (L3) {\tiny Performance};
  \path (4*\A:\L) node (L4) {\tiny Stability};
  \path (5*\A:\L) node (L5) {\tiny Usability};
  \path (6*\A:\L) node (L6) {\tiny Generality};
  \path (7*\A:\L) node (L7) {\tiny Popularity};

  % for each sample case draw a path around the web along concrete values
  % for the individual dimensions. Each node along the path is labeled
  % with an identifier using the following scheme:
  %   D<d>-<v>, dimension <d> a number between 1 and \D (#dimensions) and
  %             value <v> a number between 0 and \U (#scale units)
  % The paths will be drawn half-opaque, so that overlapping parts will be
  % rendered in a composite color.

  % Example Case 1 (red)
  % D1 (Security): 0/7; D2 (Content Quality): 5/7; D3 (Performance): 0/7;
  % D4 (Stability): 6/7; D5 (Usability): 0/7; D6 (Generality): 5/7;
  % D7 (Popularity): 0/7
  \draw [color=red,line width=1.5pt,opacity=0.5]
    (D1-0) --
    (D2-5) --
    (D3-0) --
    (D4-6) --
    (D5-0) --
    (D6-5) --
    (D7-0) -- cycle;

  % Example Case 2 (green)
  % D1 (Security): 2/7; D2 (Content Quality): 2/7; D3 (Performance): 5/7;
  % D4 (Stability): 1/7; D5 (Usability): 4/7; D6 (Generality): 1/7;
  % D7 (Popularity): 7/7
  \draw [color=green,line width=1.5pt,opacity=0.5]
    (D1-2) --
    (D2-2) --
    (D3-5) --
    (D4-1) --
    (D5-4) --
    (D6-1) --
    (D7-7) -- cycle;

  % Example Case 3 (blue)
  % D1 (Security): 1/7; D2 (Content Quality): 7/7; D3 (Performance): 4/7;
  % D4 (Stability): 4/7; D5 (Usability): 3/7; D6 (Generality): 5/7;
  % D7 (Popularity): 2/7
  \draw [color=blue,line width=1.5pt,opacity=0.5]
    (D1-1) --
    (D2-7) --
    (D3-4) --
    (D4-4) --
    (D5-3) --
    (D6-5) --
    (D7-2) -- cycle;

\caption{Spiderweb Diagram (\D~Dimensions, \U-Notch Scale, 3 Samples)}



  • #1 Michael Wiesner, March 15, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.

    Hello Mr. Renzel,

    your spiderweb-code is great. But I have some questions: Is it possible to draw unequal numbers, e.g. content quality blue 6.7 instead of 7 ((D2-6.7))? How can I insert labels for the y-axis (e.g. 100 percent)?

    Thanks from Germany, M. Wiesner

  • #2 Andrej Mosat, July 17, 2010 at 8:32 a.m.

    Hi, this is a great example. I was thinking about this problem for a long time. This would be suitable to display multidimensional contour plots, provided the ticks could be drawn instead of points. Also axis tick description is a great idea. Last but not least the integer values of each parameter should be changed to floats in order for this to be universally versatile.

    Thank you for any comments you might have.

  • #3 Nico, October 15, 2012 at 6:24 p.m.

    To show a scale on the y axis:

    % \fill (D\X-\Y) circle (1pt); \node (nummer) at (D\X-\Y) {\Large{\Y}};

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