I have not idea how to call these things, but I just saw a paper with the following figure
and I was wondering how one would go about doing it in LaTeX. The closest thing I saw on TeXample.net was the Ford Circles example, but that's for a very specific case. I would like to see a way use this as a plotting device. At this point, I am not even sure how to do it in "normal" programming language, so perhaps the question is ill-placed.
At any rate, I'd love to hear what people think!