I'm trying to create a tikzpicture that contains something like what is in the following sketch.

enter image description here

I've tried numerous ways to use custom nodes within a graph drawing-driven layout, but even when "importing" the nodes is successful, the graph drawing doesn't seem to rearrange the nodes (even though no position was specified when I "declared" the nodes).

I don't really need to draw a complex graph, I'd just like to:

  • Specify "ballpark zones" (around a coordinate and/or in a direction relative to another node) for some nodes
  • Specify stricter positioning for other nodes (i.e., "must be exactly 5mm directly to the right of X other node")
  • Have tikz/pgf respect my strict positioning specifications, and adjust the "ballpark zoned" nodes as necessary to avoid collisions

Is there a way to do this? I know I could always just manually position everything but a self-optimizing diagram would be ideal.

  • Gut feeling: Maybe tikz is not the right tool for that :). – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Feb 13 '20 at 19:34
  • From this question it is not at all clear (to me) what you are doing. It may help to add a concrete minimal working example that explicitly illustrates your points. – user194703 Feb 13 '20 at 22:49
  • Probably you didn't process the document with LuaTeX. Without Lua graphdrawing falls back to a very naive algorithm. – Henri Menke Feb 13 '20 at 23:19

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