Accepted answer

As I also answered on Gitter, dc.graph.js is intended for exactly this purpose.

There is no high-level documentation or gallery yet, but here is the relevant example:

Rectangular selection of nodes and edges.

This project has been in stealth mode for the past couple years, but it's due for an official release this year.

You certainly could build this yourself directly with d3, but the advantage of this library is that it has many UI behaviors built in.

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