bigrapher validateParse a model and check its validity


bigrapher validate [-c assignment] [-d dir] [-f format] [-h] [-m file] [-n] [-q] [-v] [model]


bigrapher validate checks the validity of the Bigraphical Reactive System defined in model, a file with extension big. If model is absent, a bigraphical model is read from the standard input. Note, the transition system is not computed at this stage.
The options are as follows:
-c assignment, --const assignment
Specify a comma-separated list of variable assignments. Example format for assignment: “x=4,t=.56”.
-d dir, --export-decs dir
Export each declaration in the model (bigraphs and reaction rules) to a distinct file in dir. Dummy values are used to instantiate functional values.
-f format, --format format
Specify a comma-separated list of output formats for options -d, --export-decs, -t, --export-ts, -s, and --export-states. Supported formats are “dot”, “json”, “svg” and “txt”. This is equivalent to setting BIGFORMAT to format.
-h, --help
Display the list of options.
-m file, --export-ml file
Export the model in OCaml format to file.
-n, --no-colors
Disable colored output. This is equivalent to setting BIGNOCOLORS to a non-empty value.
-q, --quiet
Disable all output. This is equivalent to setting BIGQUIET to a non-empty value.
-v, --verbose
Be more verbose. This is equivalent to setting BIGVERBOSE to a non-empty value.


See option -f.
See option -q.
See option -v.


The following command is useful to debug a model. It stores in directory “decs” the graphical representation in .svg format of every bigraph and reaction rule defined in “model.big”.
$ bigrapher validate -d decs -f svg model.big


bigrapher(1), bigrapher-full(1), bigrapher-sim(1)
The following references provide more in-depth details on bigraphs and the implementation of the BigraphER tool:
R. Milner, The Space and Motion of Communicating Agents, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
M. Sevegnani and M. Calder, BigraphER: Rewriting and Analysis Engine for Bigraphs, Computer Aided Verification: 28th International Conference, CAV 2016, Toronto, ON, Canada, July 17-23, 2016, Proceedings, Part II, Springer International Publishing,, 494 - 501, 2016.
M. Sevegnani and M. Calder, Bigraphs with Sharing, Elsevier, Theoretical Computer Science, 0, 577,, 43 - 73, 2015.
Refer to for more examples and a complete reference of the big format for bigraphical models.


Michele Sevegnani <>
February 19, 2018 Darwin 17.4.0