I am trying trying to represent a Sierpinski sieve using GraphPlot. The plot I want to get is the standard representation of a Sierpinski triangle, which is the output generated by Mathematica automatically if I use GraphData:

GraphData[{"SierpinskiSieve", 4}]

Output of GraphData

However, if I plot this with GraphPlot from the set of rules, I obtain something different:

GraphPlot[GraphData[{"SierpinskiSieve", 4}, "Edges", "Rule"]]

Output of Graphplot

Of course there are thousands of options to tweak the layout from GraphPlot, but I just could not find the result that replicates the output of GraphData, which is precisely what I want. Is there any way to know what GraphPlot option is GraphData using here to construct the graphic?


Here's the function you can get (recover) coordinates from rules which define Sierpinski Sieve graph. Code is not optimized and a kind of lengthy. It's just for fun:

computeCoords[acoord_, line_] := 
 With[{d = (Length[line] - 1), s = acoord[line[[1]]], t = acoord[line[[-1]]]}, 
  Table[line[[i]] -> (s (1 - (i - 1)/d) + t (i - 1)/d), {i, 2, d, 1}]]

SetAttributes[findSub, HoldFirst]
findSub[acoord_, pfunc_, out_] :=
 Block[{ middles, isides},
    middles = pfunc @@@ Partition[out, 2, 1, 1];
    middles = middles[[All, (Length[middles[[1]]] + 1)/2]];
    isides = pfunc @@@ Partition[middles, 2, 1, 1];
    acoord = Append[acoord, Flatten[computeCoords[acoord, #] & /@ isides]];
    Partition[Riffle[out, middles], 3, 2, -2]

SierpinskiSieveCoords[rules_] :=

 Block[{g, pfunc, out, side, acoord},
    g = Graph[rules, DirectedEdges -> False];
    pfunc = FindShortestPath[g];
    out = VertexList[g][[ Flatten[Position[VertexDegree[g], 2], 1]]];
    side = pfunc @@@ Partition[out, 2, 1, 1];
    acoord = Association[Thread[out -> CirclePoints[3]]];
    acoord = Append[acoord, Flatten[computeCoords[acoord, #] & /@ side]];
    Nest[Flatten[findSub[acoord, pfunc, #] & /@ #, 1] &, {out}, Log2[Length[side[[1]]] - 1] - 1];

rules = GraphData[{"SierpinskiSieve", 5}, "Edges", "Rules"];

Graph[rules, VertexCoordinates -> SierpinskiSieveCoords[rules], 
 DirectedEdges -> False]


GraphPlot[rules, VertexCoordinates -> SierpinskiSieveCoords[rules]]
| improve this answer | |

GraphData[{"SierpinskiSieve", 4}] has the vertex coordinates hard-coded. This graph layout is set manually. It is not produced by a fully automatic graph layout algorithm. I do not expect that any fully automatic graph layout method will be able to reproduce precisely this layout.

You can see that the vertex coordinates are hard-coded like this:

g = GraphData[{"SierpinskiSieve", 4}];

If you are just looking to get a Sierpinski graph of arbitrary size with precisely this layout, you can use


in version 12.1, or you can use my IGraph/M package in Mathematica 10.0 or later:

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your reply. It is a bit discouraging to know there is not automatic graph layout algorithm for this. Your IGraph package works neatly, however I was hoping I could use a set of rules as an input, rather than a SierpinskiMesh object. Thanks anyway! $\endgroup$ – Carlos_San May 30 at 17:59

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