We present a graph-based method for the analysis of repeat families in a repeat library. We build a repeat domain graph that decomposes a repeat library into repeat domains, short subsequences shared by multiple repeat families, and reveals the mosaic structure of repeat families. Our method recovers documented mosaic repeat structures and suggests additional putative ones. Our method is useful for elucidating the evolutionary history of repeats and annotating de novo generated repeat libraries. © 2006 Zhi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.