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Graph Formats

Requires version >= v0.15.3!

Many file formats exist for representing graphs, including GraphML, GEXF, GML, LEDA, Pajek, SparseGraph6, etc ... If you want to import these into a Zef graph, this is the place to learn how.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, we make use of NetworkX to first parse the file into memory.

In this example, we'll use a example GraphML file of sample.graphml.

Load into NetworkX

import networkx as nx

ng = nx.read_graphml("sample.graphml")

Import into a Zef graph

You can import the NetworkX graph as entities/relations on any Zef graph. Here we start with a blank one:

from zef import *
from zef.ops import *
from zef.experimental.importers.general import inject_networkx_into_zef

zg = Graph()
inject_networkx_into_zef(ng, zg)

The return value of the inject_networkx_into_zef function is a tuple of two dictionaries, which map the ids in the NetworkX graph to the ZefRefs.

zg = Graph()
n_map,e_map = inject_networkx_into_zef(ng, zg)

n_map["n0"] | Out[RT.Color] | value | run[print]

Import options

Translation options

The import requires creating entities and relations and these must have types in the Zef graph (ET.x and RT.y). However, in the imported data these are type-less nodes and edges. You can control how the importer guesses the translation of these using the keyword options:

  • ET_translation
  • RT_translation
  • fieldname_translation
  • aet_translation

The default translation tries to guess the ET or RT from the ID. But there are plenty of times where this is not right. For example, this sample data has only numeric IDs, which will convert to ET.Node in the default translation. You might want to instead import this as:

inject_networkx_into_zef(ng, zg,

This makes all entities ET.Person and all relations between entities RT.Knows. The relation types for fields remain the same, determined from the key, e.g. RT.Name and RT.Age.

Store ID option

The keyword argument store_id is set to RT.ID by default, meaning that node ids from the NetworkX graph are added to the created Zef entities by a RT.ID relation. If you want to disable this you can set store_id=None.

Exporting back to the same format

This How-To is about imports only. Zef graphs in general can be meta-graphs and so might not be directly representable in any of the formats. However, one option we have is to use the Zef NetworkX proxy to view and then export your Zef graph to a file. For example:

from zef.experimental.networkx import ProxyGraph
import networkx as nx

ng = ProxyGraph(now(zg), include_type_as_field=False)
ng_native = ng.to_native(include_fields=True)
nx.write_graphml(ng_native, "output.graphml")

Note that this will not reproduce the imported file exactly, unless some significant customization is applied to the ProxyGraph functions.