Does Mathematica support MDS? Or, are there any libraries that support it?

Basically, I have points and a distance function defined between them, and I want to plot them in 2D space, trying to minimize the error (stress) in the distance. This is what MDS does. R has support for MDS, but I can't find similar methods in Mathematica, which I think is strange because this seems like a really common thing to want to do...

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To my knowledge, there's no built-in functionality for this. Google revealed a package to do this, but I have not used it myself. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 17, 2012 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I think this is the answer to the question. $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2012 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ Did you try the package? Does it work correctly with version 8? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 18, 2012 at 9:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Sz Graph embedding in two dimensions is actually MDS in disguise. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I didn't know about that. But, there does not seem to be a way to change the edge length (is there?). In my graph some edges would be much longer than others. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2012 at 23:06

2 Answers 2


Here's a link to an article in The Mathematica Journal Vol. 17, with worked out examples and code:

Better late than never!


You might be able to adapt the code in the Multidimensional Scaling demonstration in the Wolfram Demonstrations project.

  • $\begingroup$ I saw that but, I'm not sure that it works. I tried distances2points[{{0, 1, 1}, {1, 0, 1}, {1, 1, 0}}] and the resulting points do not form an equilateral triangle, as I was expecting. $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2012 at 17:54

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