How to use an update function to animate a NetworkX graph in Matplotlib?

To use an update function to animate a NetworkX graph in Matplotlib, we can take the following steps −

  • Set the figure size and adjust the padding between and around the subplots.
  • Create a new figure or activate an existing figure using figure() method.
  • Initialize a graph with edges, name, and graph attributes.
  • Add nodes to the graph using add_nodes_from() method.
  • Draw the graph G with Matplotlib.
  • Use FuncAnimation() class to make an animation by repeatedly calling a function, animate.
  • Function animate clears the current figure, generate two random numbers, and draws the edges between them.
  • To display the figure, use show() method.


from matplotlib import pyplot as plt, animation
import networkx as nx
import random

plt.rcParams["figure.figsize"] = [7.50, 3.50]
plt.rcParams["figure.autolayout"] = True

fig = plt.figure()

G = nx.DiGraph()
G.add_nodes_from([0, 1, 2, 3, 4])

nx.draw(G, with_labels=True)

def animate(frame):
   num1 = random.randint(0, 4)
   num2 = random.randint(0, 4)
   G.add_edges_from([(num1, num2)])
   nx.draw(G, with_labels=True)

ani = animation.FuncAnimation(fig, animate, frames=6, interval=1000, repeat=True)