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CIShell JSON

The CIShell JSON spec defines a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format for tabular and graph data for use with CIShell and derived platforms.  The primary use of this format is data transport to browser-based visualization clients, but this specification also defines suggested attributes of files saved in this format.

Topologies

This format supports tabular and graph data in a common container, but only one of these topologies per object/file.  The supported table format contains a single set of records; the supported graph format has a single set of nodes and a corresponding single set of edges.  To help tools including CIShell and our web client visualizations know how to consume these objects, we provide topology metadata in the form of a top-level data member, MIME type (during transport), and file extension (Table 1).

 

JSON element

MIME Type

File Extension

Graph

“topology”:”graph”

application/org.cishell.graph+json

.cishellgraph.json

Table

“topology”:”table”

application/org.cishell.table+json

.cishelltable.json

Table 1: Supported Topologies

Structure

The basic structure is that of a JSON object containing top-level elements indicating topology, a schema containing structural members (allowing non-spec members, but not guaranteeing that this data will be read by a given client), and record or node-edge set containers (Table 2).  Inside the records, nodes, and edges containers are name and type fields and schema and dataset members.

Name

Description

Parent(s)

Type

Optional

topology

Flag indicating type of data represented

(root)

String

N

records

Tabular row data

(root)

JSON object

N (for table topology)

nodes

Graph node data

(root)

JSON object

N (for graph topology)

edges

Graph edge data

(root)

JSON object

N (for graph topology)

name

Dataset name

*

String

Y

type

Dataset type (graph edge type: “directed” / “undirected”)

*

String

Y

schema

Schema for data element in same container; at root level, it defines available members

(root), records, nodes, edges

JSON array of JSON object

N

data

Record/edge datasets

records, nodes, edges

JSON array of JSON object

N

Table 2: Base JSON object members

Within schema elements, a required set of name and type fields, and optional default value and primarykey fields define the data contained in records, nodes, and edges.  For each object within the schema, an element with a name corresponding to the schema’s name field should exist and contain data corresponding to the schema type (Table 3).

Name

Description

Parent(s)

Type

Optional

name

Field name

*.schema

string

N

type

Field data type

*.schema

string

N

default

Default value for field

*.schema

(default value for type)

Y

primarykey

Defines whether a field is/is part of a primary key

*.schema

boolean

Y

(column name, per schema)

Data element

*.data

(value for type)

N

Table 3: Schema and data member fields

Graph nodes and edges have a minimum required set of schema elements, as detailed in Table 4.  Note: id is a suggested field for tabular data, but is not required; primarykey schema fields should be used when possible, whether id is present and conventionally named or not.

Name

Description

Parent(s)

Type

Optional

id

Record ID

nodes

int

N

source

Edge source node record ID

edges

int

N

target

Edge target node record ID

edges

int

N

Table 4: Required schema elements for graph members

Multiple Datasets

This specification is not intended to handle multiple datasets or relational data other than node-edge groups.  These could be added via top-level schema elements, but this is not a supported method.  The preferred method of transferring a group of datasets would be to generate a corresponding group of CIShell JSON objects.

 

Sample Objects

The following are examples of objects that follow the above specification.

Table:

{   
     "name":"Sample Table",
     "topology":"table",
     "schema":[
            {"name":"records",
             "type":"records"}],
    
     "records":{
            "schema":[
                   {"name":"id",
                    "type":"int",
                    "default":0,
                    "primarykey":true},
                   {"name":"label",
                    "type":"string",
                    "default":""}],
            "data":[{"id":0,"label":"Row 0"},{"id":1,"label":"Row 1"}]
     }
 
}

Graph:

{   
     "name":"Sample Nodeset",
     "topology":"graph",
     "schema":[
            {"name":"nodes",
             "type":"nodes"},
            {"name":"edges",
             "type":"edges"}],
 
     "nodes":{
            "schema":[
                   {"name":"id",
                    "type":"int",
                    "default":0,
                    "primarykey":true},
                   {"name":"label",
                    "type":"string",
                    "default":""}],
            "data":[{"id":0,"label":"Node 0"},{"id":1,"label":"Node 1"}]
     },
     "edges":{
            "type":"undirected",
            "schema":[
                   {"name":"source",
                    "type":"int"},
                   {"name":"target",
                    "type":"int"}],
            "data":[{"source":0,"target":1}]
            }
     }
}
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