User Manual

Arcade Analytics

User Manual

Version 1.0 (Feb 15, 2018)

Main Concepts

Arcade Analytics is a graph visualization tool that enables users to have more control over their data. Arcade sits on top of the user’s database and allows the user to query data and show it in a graph. Arcade currently integrates with all major graph and relational databases. Our connectors allow users to visually see relationships and connections within their datasets in our dashboard. Within Arcade’s dashboard, users have a variety of customization options to assist the user in finding meaningful connections and relationships. Users can change the size, color, background image, and layout of nodes, or they can filter the visualization to only see certain sections of their data. Once users have found a meaningful connection, the graph can be exported so the user can share their analysis with others.

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Demo

To access the Arcade Demo click on this link. The Demo allows users to test all of the visualization tools Arcade has to offer in a limited and pre-determined environment. Users can access multiple databases and use Arcade to see this data visually. The Demo is read only and limited to 300 nodes per query and 5,000 nodes total. 

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Login

Upon subscription to Arcade Analytics, users will receive an email with information on how to access their account. A welcome email will include your new username and temporary password. Make sure to change your account password through the account settings tab once you login.

If you need login assistance please contact us at info@arcadeanalytics.com

 

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How to integrate with your database

Users can configure connections to their database in the Arcade Dashboard selecting the Datasource menu.

Once selected the menu, the list of configured data-sources is showed:

Click on the create a new Data Source button to create a new entry

  • name: give the data source a name of your choice
  • description(optional): a meaningful description
  • type: select the type of database
  • if the RDBMS type is selected, select the database
  • server: server name or IP address
  • port: the ports (e.g.: 5432 for Postgres)
  • database: the name of the database
  • username and password: credentials to access your DB
  • Use ssh tunnel: if the database isn’t exposed on the internet, select this flag
  • gateway: IP address or the name of the ssh gateway
  • ssh user: user name to be used  to create the tunnel (default: player)
  • ssh port: usually 22

To enable connection through ssh tunnelling:

  • Download our public key
  • whitelist on your firewall our IP: 78.46.48.166
  • add the key to the authorized_keys file for the given ssh user configured, so add it to /home/<sshUser>/.ssh/authorized_keys
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Neo4j

Neo4j is supported only through bolt binary protocol, usually on port 7687.

An example of the configuration:

  • server: server name or IP address, e.g. 75.40.50.60 or mydatabase.mydomain.com
  • port: 7687
  • database: NONE (neo4j exposes a single database at a time)
  • username and password: credentials to access neo4j server
  • Use ssh tunnel: if the database isn’t exposed on the internet, select this flag
  • gateway: IP address or the name of the ssh gateway
  • ssh user: username to be used  to create the tunnel (default: player)
  • ssh port: usually 22

 

 

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OrientDB

The OrientDB connector supports the 2.2.x series over the binary protocol, usually on port 2424.

A typical connection configuration is:

  • server: server name or IP address, e.g. orientdb.mydomain.com
  • port: 2424
  • database: mydatabase
  • username and password: myname/mypassword

 

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RDBMS Connector

Arcade Analytics allows you to connect to relational databases through a specific RDBMS connector, which allows you to perform graph analyses over your Relational Database.

You can integrate Arcade with all major relational databases: at the moment it is compatible and fully-tested with Oracle, Microsoft SQLServer, MySQL, PostgreSQL and HyperSQL*.

Connections and data within your RDBMS are treated as a graph through a model mapping between the source data model, the Entity-Relationship Model, and the target data model, the Graph Model.

Once a coherent and effective model mapping is performed, you can query your source dataset and play with it as if it was a graph:

  • each record is transformed in a correspondent vertex.
  • each connection between two records, inferred through a relationship between two tables and computed through a join operation, generates an edge.

Model Mapping

The ER model is built starting from the source DB schema: each table, known also as Entity, and each Relationship in the DB is inferred from these metadata. Because of this, if you didn’t define constraints, such as foreign keys between the tables on which you usually perform join operations, you will lose this kind of information during the querying process. If foreign keys are missing, you will not have any edges in your final Graph Model, and you will not able to traverse any relationship.

This automated mapping strategy adopts a basic approach: the source DB schema is directly translated as follows:

  1. each Entity in the source DB is converted into a Vertex Type.
  2. each Relationship between two Entities in the source DB is converted into an Edge Type (remember, relationships in your source DB schema are represented by the foreign keys).

All the records of each table are handled according to the following schemas-mapping: each pair of records on which it’s possible to perform a join operation will correspond to a pair of vertices connected by an edge of a specific Edge Type.

Example: 1-N Relationship

The Film and Language source tables are translated in two correspondent Vertex Types; the properties contained in the Film and Language Vertex Types directly come from the columns belonging to the two source tables.

The logical relationship between the two tables generates the HasLanguage Edge Type.

Source data and relationships will be retrieved and visualized as shown below.

Example: N-N Relationship

In RDBMSs N-N Relationships are expressed through join tables. In the sample schema below you can see how the N-N relationship between actors and movies is modelled through the join table Film_Actor.

As you can see, the central join table is translated in a specific Vertex Type allowing you to traverse the N-N relationship between actors and movies.

Then, starting from the following tables:

We will obtain the following graph:

Now we can say that traversing N-N relationships is equivalent to traverse two 1-N relationships, like in the relational world:

  • 1-N relationship between Film and Film_Actor
  • 1-N relationship between Film_Actor and Film

Aggregation

The Graph Model is more expressive than the ER Model. In the Graph Model N-N Relationship don’t need redundant structures like the join tables used in the SQL world, instead you just have edges. For this reason Arcade offers the capability to aggregate some redundant information in order to obtain a simpler and more efficient model.

This makes it possible to choose a specific mapping strategy that performs aggregation on join tables of dimension equals to 2, that is to say those tables which map two tables together by referencing the primary keys of each data table through a foreign key. The join tables of dimension greater than 2 are ignored by the aggregation algorithm. This process allows each candidate join table to be converted into an appropriate edge, and each field not involved in any relationship with other tables (hence not involved in any foreign key in the source DB schema) is aggregated in the properties of the new built edge.

Referring to the scenario in the last example, even if the new DB does not reflect the original DB schema, the aggregation leads to a great saving in terms of resources and avoids a substantial overhead. The OrientDB schema after the aggregation process comes out simpler, hence also the analysis is easier.

Let’s examine the same N-N relationship reported in the previous example. Here the join table is not translated into a Vertex Type, but rather into an Edge Type. The last_update column, the only one not involved in any relationship, becomes a field in the resulting “aggregator edge”.

By starting from the previous scenario, but this time using the aggregate function, we will get cleaner and simpler results.

This time we will obtain a less complex graph:

A simpler graph means better performance: to navigate the relationship between films and actors we will not need two jumps, but just one.

How to aggregate aggregate join tables of your source database

In order to aggregate all the join tables in your source database you simply have to flag the specific option in the Datasource options.

In this way all the widgets connected to this specific Datasource will come out with an aggregated model that will be reflected during the analysis.

Let’s focus on the N-N relationship between actors and movies: starting from a specific actor we will be able to expand all the related movies by traversing just one relationship, called with the same name of the original aggregated join table, in this case film_actor.

Arcade Features and source RDBMS meaning

In Arcade you can enjoy all the features offered for graph databases while using a relational database.

Below is a list of some useful features for you to review:

You have three main ways to interact with your source dataset:

When you load one or more items a correspondent query is performed against the source relational database according to the external keys mapping. This allows eventual indices to be used which makes retrieving records and building vertices very fast.

Just scan queries are allowed. Let’s suppose we want to fetch the first 100 items from the actor table, then we have to type:

select * from actor limit 100

You can add also some conditions by using the where statement, but don’t get crazy with join operations, this kind of queries are not allowed and it is much simpler to use the traverse tool to traverse your relationships.

select * from actor where actor.first_name=Ben

In this example we want to get the language of a specific movie. Selecting the outgoing has_language edge type on the left we will expand the relationship. This operation corresponds to a join operation between the film and the language tables.

Here is the result of the traverse, we will obtain a new language node and an edge connecting the two vertices.

We can fetch some other movies having English as language simply by selecting the new vertex and clicking the ingoing has_language edge.

Below is the result:

From this point you can continue to explore your data and customize it to your needs.

*All company names and logos used on this website are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement.

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Arcade Dashboard

The dashboard shows all of the datasets the user is currently visualizing. Each dataset is shown as a widget that can be edited, moved around, and deleted. The user can add as many widgets as their subscription plan allows.

Users also have access to a text widget which can be used to make notes about specific datasets.

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Media Library

Users can access their media library through the Arcade Dashboard. Users can choose from a number of pre-uploaded images for node customization, or they can upload an image using the media library.

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Account Settings

Each account will have an admin user who will have control over the account settings. From account settings on the dashboard, the admin can manage their personal information and login details.

Manage Users 

From the dashboard, admin users can manage all other users from the administration tab. From here the admin can view or edit user details. Admin users can also create or delete user accounts from this page. The number of users allowed depends on the subscription plan associated with the account.

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Toolbar

The user can visualize their data through the Arcade interface. The data will be shown on the right and the toolbar is shown on the left. The toolbar can expand and collapse for convenience.

 

Shortcuts

Arcade has a number of shortcuts designed to assist users in visualizing their data.

Right Click

Users can right click on a specific node or edge and view a pop up window that shows common functions, including: view selected node/edge properties, delete or hide selected node/edge, and traverse selected node.

Click + Drag

By clicking on the dashboard, users can move the entire visualization within the dashboard.

Ctrl + Click and Drag

This command allows the user to select multiple nodes and edges at once. Once elements have been selected they can be traversed, moved, or deleted.

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Graph Element

The Graph Element allows the user to see the property information of a selected node. All of the data about a specific entity in the user’s database will be displayed under the properties section.  

Users can also edit both the label and size of the nodes from this section. Users can change which identifier is used as the label for the node. Users can also change the font type, size, location, and color.

Users can also change the nodes themselves. The size, color, and background image can all be customized. The background images are stored in the user’s media library. The media library can also be accessed on the menu bar at the top of the screen. Users can use the pre-uploaded images or upload new images to use as the background.

Remember all changes made need to be saved in order for them to be applied and seen on the screen. You can save your changes by clicking on the blue save tab seen at the bottom of the Graph Element tool as seen below.

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Traverse

Use the traverse tool on the toolbar to see all incoming and outgoing connections of a specific node.

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Filter

Users can filter the visualized data based off of which class each data point belongs to. This allows the user to see the data in specific ways.

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Selection

Users can select and deselect all, or some, of the nodes and edges. Users can also use this tool to find the shortest path between two selected nodes.

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Edit

Users can hide or show specific sections of the visualized data. This allows the user more control over their data.

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Timeline

If you want to include a temporal analysis in order to see a  graph of how your data changes over the time, you can use the simple-to-use and intuitive timeline feature.

Open the dedicated menu item in the sidebar.

Here you can configure the input data for the timeline widget, by selecting several nodes or edge classes and for each of them a valid date property containing the event of interest. The date property will be used to fetch all the time data present in the current dataset, this way we will be able to analyse them in the timeline widget and use them to detect the relationships’ and entities’ changings happening through time.

Let’s suppose we want to analyse when the relationships between specific items appeared. We just have to choose the specific edge class and the desired date property, then we enable the timeline to see.

When the timeline is activated, every time you update the input configuration by adding or removing an item, the timeline chart will be automatically updated.

The timeline widget will appear under the graph: we can view a time chart showing the time distribution of the events based off of the input configuration.

We can interact with this analysis by zooming in and out, changing the grain reaching each single event if needed, or by moving back and forth through time.

You can also go to a specific date or use a fit feature, that will combine the zoom and move functions in order to fit all the events in the visible time window. Eventually you can exploit the time filtering window, to narrow your temporal analysis to a specific and customizable range.

You can interact with the timeline through the control buttons beside or just by using the mouse as follows:

  • Control Buttons
    • zoom in/out: zooms in and out the timeline window.
    • left/right arrow: moves left and right the timeline windows.
    • fit: changes the timeline window in order to fit all the elements.
    • filtering window: click to define a custom timeline window in order to filter in all the elements in the graph matching the specified time slot.
      You can move the left and the right time-cursor to slide, narrow or expand the filtering time window. If you want to disable the filtering just click again the button.
    • “go-to-date” form: centers the timeline window to the specified input date.
  • Mouse Controls
    • horizontal scroll: moves left and right the timeline window.
    • vertical scroll: moves up and down the timeline window content.
    • ctrl + vertical scroll: zooms in and out the timeline window.

Top Down Analysis

The chart provided in the timeline is conceived to allow users to perform a simple temporal top down analysis: starting from a wider view it is possible to see at first glance how the events are distributed over the time. Let’s have a look at the example below.

All the loaded events are approximately included in a range from 2000 to 2015, with a higher density in a more specific window defined between 2001 and 2005.


Let’s focus on this range by zooming in this time window.

In this way you can reach a better distribution precision, then it’s easy to observe there are two main relevant sub-ranges inside the previous time window (2001-2005): the first one comprehends part of 2003 and 2004 years, and the second one, including all 2006.

You can perform this procedure iteratively till the maximum grain, where you can inspect each single event. Below is the focus on 2006.

Here we are inspecting all the single events occured in January 2006.

Time filtering

Time filtering is maybe the most fascinating feature you can enjoy in the timeline widget.

As first thing you have to click the dedicated filter button, a customizable time window will appear.

By moving the left and right bounds of the blue time window, you will be able to filter in or out in the graph all the elements whose events are included or excluded in the specified range.

Simply put, you can study the evolution of the graph through the time just playing with the time range.

On time window narrowing all the elements filtered out will be hidden in the graph.

When you enlarge again the time window the filtered in elements are shown again in the graph above.

This is very useful for many use cases, for example let’s suppose that we have got time data in our edges indicating when specific relationships were established between the entities in our graph.

Exploiting the time filtering we can easily inspect how the graph of connections changed through the time.

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Delete

Users can delete nodes and edges by selecting the desired elements and then selecting the delete tool on the toolbar. Be certain of which elements you want to delete because this action cannot be undone.

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Layouts

Layouts can be seen from the Layout section of the toolbar. Each layout has a unique algorithm that allows the user to view the data from different perspectives. 

 

Below is a list of the available layouts and examples of a few of them:

 

Force

Circle Breadthfirst

TopDown Breadfirst

Cola

Dagre

Spring

DAG

Concentric

Circle

Grid

Random

Preset

 

TopDown Breadfirst:

Circle:

Grid:

Users can also hide or show the legend and labels and change the spacing between nodes. This allows the nodes and edges to be spread further apart or be closer together.

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Export

Users have the ability to export their graph as a PNG, JPEG, or JSON file.

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Save

Users can save their current visualization by clicking the save icon at the bottom of the toolbar. Arcade does not have an autosave feature, so be sure to save your progress before exiting out of the browser. 

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