[zeromq-dev] Visualizing zeromq networks as graphs

Brett Viren bv at bnl.gov
Tue Aug 13 17:17:10 CEST 2019

Hi Arnaud,

Arnaud Loonstra <arnaud at sphaero.org> writes:

> * visualising zmq topologies? In theory this should be very well 
> possible. Would this be interesting for the zmq community? I'm currently 
> researching a system to visualize actors but was thinking this could be 
> done for any zmq topology. It is also a very intuitive approach into 
> understanding the flow of a program.

I won't be at FOSDEM but I am very interested in this topic.

I'm using CZMQ actors as a core element of my current project.  It
dynamically aggregates actor-based components into processes and their
sockets into networks via JSON files which are compiled from a singular
Jsonnet source.  That configuration describes a graph and so besides the
applications consuming the JSON, GraphViz dot files can also be
generated for visualization.

Here is a somewhat old example:


(scroll down for a larger example)

Boxes are actors, circles are sockets, ellipses are endpoints.  Process
boundaries are not indicated.

These graphs are not so "pretty" but they make very good tools to debug
the configuration before it's applied to actual running applications.

Another thing I have been thinking about, but still only at a
conceptual/daydream level, is to visualize various metrics emitted (via
zeromq) from each vertex of this graph by displaying them on some form
of "live" graph on a web page using eg Bokeh.  

I want to eventually incorporate Zyre into my system and its data might
also be fodder for some graph-oriented visualization.  In particular,
because Zyre is standard (unlike my application-specific metrics) I can
envision developing some generically useful Zyre monitoring system based
on some simple requirements on Zyre key/value headers.


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