Nodal displacements are referred to the initial configuration in the total Lagrangian formulation and to the last converged configuration in the updated Lagrangian formulation. This research proposes a relative nodal displacement method to represent the position and orientation for a node in truss structures. Since the proposed method measures the relative nodal displacements relative to its adjacent nodal reference frame, they are still small for a truss structure undergoing large deformations for the small size elements. As a consequence, element formulations developed under the small deformation assumption are still valid for structures undergoing large deformations, which significantly simplifies the equations of equilibrium. A structural system is represented by a graph to systematically develop the governing equations of equilibrium for general systems. A node and an element are represented by a node and an edge in graph representation, respectively. Closed loops are opened to form a spanning tree by cutting edges. Two computational sequences are defined in the graph representation. One is the forward path sequence that is used to recover the Cartesian nodal displacements from relative nodal displacements and traverses a graph from the base node towards the terminal nodes. The other is the backward path sequence that is used to recover the nodal forces in the relative coordinate system from the known nodal forces in the absolute coordinate system and traverses from the terminal nodes towards the base node. One closed loop structure undergoing large deformations is analyzed to demonstrate the efficiency and validity of the proposed method.