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Getting Started

Discover what Bigraph Framework is all about and learn the core concepts behind it.

Creating a Bigraph

At the moment, Bigraph Framework supports only pure bigraphs.


To create a bigraph, a so-called signature must be created first. Technically, it defines the syntax of a bigraph and determines what types (i.e., controls of a bigraphs) we can create in the following.

To create a signature, we begin by spawning a new pure factory, more specifically, a signature builder. All further operations will use the same factory in the current execution context. The first step is to create a signature by using the appropriate factory method.

import static*;

void getting_started_guide() throws InvalidConnectionException, IncompatibleSignatureException, IncompatibleInterfaceException {
DynamicSignatureBuilder signatureBuilder = pureSignatureBuilder();
DefaultDynamicSignature signature = signatureBuilder.newControl().identifier("User").arity(1).status(ControlStatus.ATOMIC).assign().newControl(StringTypedName.of("Computer"), FiniteOrdinal.ofInteger(2)).assign().create();

As mentioned above, the signature specifies the syntax of a bigraph we are going to create in the following. The resulting signature contains two controls: a User with an arity of 1, and a Computer with an arity of 2. The arity specifies how many connections a control can have. The semantic meaning of the term "connection" is left open here - it can represent anything, for example, an ethernet link or an association relationship between elements.

Bigraph Builder

Now we are able to instantiate a pure bigraph builder instance. It allows us to build our bigraph by adding child nodes and connections among them. The signature above determines which kind of nodes we can add to the bigraph (our syntax). Therefore, we have to supply the previously created signature to the pureBuilder() method.

void getting_started_guide() throws InvalidConnectionException, IncompatibleSignatureException, IncompatibleInterfaceException {
// ...
PureBigraphBuilder<DefaultDynamicSignature> builder = pureBuilder(signature);
builder.createRoot().addChild("User", "login").addChild("Computer", "login");
PureBigraph bigraph = builder.createRoot().addChild("User", "login").addChild("Computer", "login").createBigraph();

The example shows how to add two nodes ("User" and "Computer") under the same root (we do it twice) and how to link all to the same outer name with the label "login". The bigraph is illustrated below.

Note that the method addChild will throw an InvalidConnectionException if the node cannot be connected to the outer name (because of its arity specified by the signature).


See Visualization on how to export a bigraph as graphic file.

Elementary Bigraphs

Let us now examine how more trivial bigraphs can be created which are termed elementary bigraphs. Essentially, there are two categories: Placings and Linkings. They do not contain any node, thus, they are node-free bigraphs.

Elementary bigraphs allow to build more complex bigraphs easily. We show how to create a concrete placing and linking, before we use them for composition later in the next section.

Even if elementary bigraphs usually do not take a signature, it must be provided. This is due to technical reasons with respect to the bigraphical metamodel that is used internally. See also Factories and Builders for more details.

The next code example shows how we can create a so-called merge_n (i.e., a placing where n sites are located under one root) and an identity link graph (i.e., inner and outer interfaces of the link graph are connected).

void getting_started_guide() throws InvalidConnectionException, IncompatibleSignatureException, IncompatibleInterfaceException {
// ...
Placings<DefaultDynamicSignature> placings = purePlacings(signature);
Placings<DefaultDynamicSignature>.Merge merge = placings.merge(2);
Linkings<DefaultDynamicSignature> linkings = pureLinkings(signature);
Linkings<DefaultDynamicSignature>.Identity login = linkings.identity(StringTypedName.of("login"));

The factory provides the method createPlacings() to create a placing builder. With it we create a merge and passing the integer 2 as argument to create a merge with two sites. Further, we create an identity link graph with the name "login".

The two elementary bigraphs merge and identity are depicted below.

Placing: MergeLinking: Identity

Composition of Bigraphs

Bigraphs may be composed by using special operators. This allows us to modularize bigraphs by constructing sub-structures separately from each other and compose them later to build a larger bigraph.

To equip a bigraph with operators we simply pass it to the static method ops() provided by the BigraphFactory class.

void getting_started_guide() throws InvalidConnectionException, IncompatibleSignatureException, IncompatibleInterfaceException {
// ...
BigraphComposite<DefaultDynamicSignature> composed = BigraphFactory.ops(merge).parallelProduct(login).compose(bigraph);

The code above describes a composition that merges the two roots of bigraph under one root node with index 0. At the same time we keep the links so that all nodes are kept connected.

Note that composition may throw the following two exceptions IncompatibleSignatureException and IncompatibleInterfaceException if the signatures are not the same or the interfaces are not compatible. See Theory to get more details about how bigraphical composition works. All available operators are explained in Composition.



This page explored some of the basic features of the Bigraph Framework on how to create signatures, bigraphs, elementary bigraphs and how to compose them to form larger ones.