My data has two columns that we'll call A and B. The columns proceed as such


A1 B1

A2 B2

A3 B3


I'm trying to make this into a directed graph where A1 has an outgoing edge to B1 and similarly between A2 and B2 and so on

When I import the excel file, it creates a list like this

{{{person A1, person B1}, {person A2, person B2}, .... {person An, person Bn}}}

but I can't make a directed graph out of this. So how do I take this very simple two-column format and quickly make it into a directed graph going from persons in column A to persons in column B?

Any help would be appreciated

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If your list is called lst, then perhaps Graph[Rule @@@ First@lst]. $\endgroup$
    – march
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 18:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You may also like to add VertexLabels -> "Name" as an option to Graph to get some simple labeling of your nodes. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ The suggestions here did the trick! Thanks all $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ But I'm still confused. what does "Rule @@@ First@lst" mean? I sort of get what each of those expressions means separately, but all together it's confusing $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 3:58

1 Answer 1


If you need to do computation on the graph, and/or your graph is very large- working with a SparseArray and an AdjacencyGraph may prove the most beneficial.

Here is a random list which can resemble your data:

randomVals = Table[{RandomInteger[10], RandomInteger[20]}, 100];

Now we obtain a list of all the values in the list:

keys = Union[Join[values[[All, 1]], values[[All, 2]]]];

Index all the values in the list:

positions = Flatten[MapIndexed[{#1 -> First[#2]} &, keys]];

Create a sparse array object and fill it with values:

s = SparseArray[
     Flatten[{({#[[1]], #[[2]]} /. positions) -> 1} & /@ randomVals, 1],
     {Max[positions[[All, 2]]], Max[positions[[All, 2]]]}];


adj graph

p.s. after doing computation on the graph you can always translate the node numbers back to your labels with the reverse of your position vector:

(*node values*) /. (Reverse /@ positions)

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