sigmajs goes hand in hand with Shiny. As stated in the wiki, sigma.js is “interactivity oriented” and therefore plays ideally in apps.

See it in action

Set kill to TRUE in sigmajs or pipe sg_kill to your graph if you are not updating the Shiny graph with sigmajsProxy


  • Proxies
  • Events

simgajs lets you dynamically interact with the graph, that is, add/remove/customise without redrawing the whole graph: these functions all end in _p. The package also lets you catch how the user interacts with your graph.


  • Add one or multiple nodes or edges.
  • Remove one or multiple nodes or edges.
  • Add nodes or edges with a given delay.
  • Enable nodes drag.
  • Start/kill/restart force layout.
  • Refresh the graph.


Here I mainly talk you through shiny proxies in general and the add-nodes demo.

Let’s start by building a simple Shiny app that includes a basic sigmajs graph.

Now that we have a simple app going we can look at playing with proxies. The layout looks a bit rubbish, we can add a proxy to let the user trigger the forceAtlas2 layout.

So proxies work on a already existing graphs so you simply have to use the sigmajsProxy function to catch that graph using its id; output graph’s id is sg (sigmajsOutput("sg")). Then you can pass your proxies _p.

We could, for instance, now add another button to kill the layout because as it is now the layout is constantly running which is a bit draining for the browser and not very useful.

Now that you are familiar with proxies we can look at the more powerful ones; though you will see, you can use them just as easily! For that we’ll scrap the previous buttons and go back to the basic shiny app we initially set up.

Let’s put a button that lets the user add nodes to the graph. For this example we’ll only plot nodes, no edges.

This is a simplified version of the demo("add-nodes", package = "sigmajs")

It’s fairly simple when you look at it.

  1. We generate additional nodes.
  2. We make sure that these additional nodes do not have the same id as the already existing nodes.
  3. We add them using sg_add_nodes_p which acutally works just like sg_nodes.


Another great thing the package lets you do is capture how the user interact with your app. Then again there is a demo for the latter: custom-events.

All the events are integrated in the package

Let’s take the basic app we built at the begining of the proxies walkthrough and catch which node the user clicks on.

Easy! Just use your plot as an input that points to the graph id (sg) followed by _ and the name of the event you want to catch; in our case, plot of id (sg) and capture node clicked = input$sg_click_node. There are many more events to pick up, see the official documentation for the full list.


Now that you are familiar with proxies, we can add a filter to filter nodes, edges or both.

  • g_filter_gt_p - filter greater than
  • g_filter_lt_p - filter less than

Let’s take our basic Shiny app and add our filter.