This documents the development version of NetworkX. Documentation for the current release can be found here.


shell_layout(G, nlist=None, rotate=None, scale=1, center=None, dim=2)[source]

Position nodes in concentric circles.

  • G (NetworkX graph or list of nodes) – A position will be assigned to every node in G.

  • nlist (list of lists) – List of node lists for each shell.

  • rotate (angle in radians (default=pi/len(nlist))) – Angle by which to rotate the starting position of each shell relative to the starting position of the previous shell. To recreate behavior before v2.5 use rotate=0.

  • scale (number (default: 1)) – Scale factor for positions.

  • center (array-like or None) – Coordinate pair around which to center the layout.

  • dim (int) – Dimension of layout, currently only dim=2 is supported. Other dimension values result in a ValueError.


pos – A dictionary of positions keyed by node

Return type



ValueError – If dim != 2


>>> G = nx.path_graph(4)
>>> shells = [[0], [1, 2, 3]]
>>> pos = nx.shell_layout(G, shells)


This algorithm currently only works in two dimensions and does not try to minimize edge crossings.