GraPHP is the mathematical graph/network library written in PHP.

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v0.9.3 2021-12-30 09:22 UTC

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Last update: 2024-06-27 13:35:57 UTC



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GraPHP is the mathematical graph/network library written in PHP.

Development version: This branch contains the code for the upcoming 1.0 release. For the code of the current stable 0.9 release, check out the 0.9.x branch.

The upcoming 1.0 release will be the way forward for this package. However, we will still actively support 0.9.x for those not yet on the latest version. See also installation instructions for more details.

Table of contents

Quickstart examples

Once installed, let's initialize a sample graph:


require __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

$graph = new Graphp\Graph\Graph();

// create some cities
$rome = $graph->createVertex(array('name' => 'Rome'));
$madrid = $graph->createVertex(array('name' => 'Madrid'));
$cologne = $graph->createVertex(array('name' => 'Cologne'));

// build some roads
$graph->createEdgeDirected($cologne, $madrid);
$graph->createEdgeDirected($madrid, $rome);
// create loop
$graph->createEdgeDirected($rome, $rome);

Let's see which city (Vertex) has a road (i.e. an edge pointing) to Rome:

foreach ($rome->getVerticesEdgeFrom() as $vertex) {
    echo $vertex->getAttribute('name') . ' leads to Rome' . PHP_EOL;
    // result: Madrid and Rome itself lead to Rome


This library is built around the concept of mathematical graph theory (i.e. it is not a charting library for drawing a graph of a function). In essence, a graph is a set of nodes with any number of connections in between. In graph theory, vertices (plural of vertex) are an abstract representation of these nodes, while connections are represented as edges. Edges may be either undirected ("two-way") or directed ("one-way", aka di-edges, arcs).

Depending on how the edges are constructed, the whole graph can either be undirected, can be a directed graph (aka digraph) or be a mixed graph. Edges are also allowed to form loops (i.e. an edge from vertex A pointing to vertex A again). Also, multiple edges from vertex A to vertex B are supported as well (aka parallel edges), effectively forming a multigraph (aka pseudograph). And of course, any combination thereof is supported as well. While many authors try to differentiate between these core concepts, this library tries hard to not impose any artificial limitations or assumptions on your graphs.


This library provides the core data structures for working with graphs, its vertices, edges and attributes.

There are several official components built on top of these structures to provide commonly needed functionality. This architecture allows these components to be used independently and on demand only.

Following is a list of some highlighted components. A list of all official components can be found in the graphp project.

Graph drawing

This library is built to support visualizing graph images, including them into webpages, opening up images from within CLI applications and exporting them as PNG, JPEG or SVG file formats (among many others). Because graph drawing is a complex area on its own, the actual layouting of the graph is left up to the excellent GraphViz "Graph Visualization Software" and we merely provide some convenient APIs to interface with GraphViz.

See graphp/graphviz for more details.

Common algorithms

Besides graph drawing, one of the most common things to do with graphs is running algorithms to solve common graph problems. Therefore this library is being used as the basis for implementations for a number of commonly used graph algorithms:

  • Search
    • Deep first (DFS)
    • Breadth first search (BFS)
  • Shortest path
    • Dijkstra
    • Moore-Bellman-Ford (MBF)
    • Counting number of hops (simple BFS)
  • Minimum spanning tree (MST)
    • Kruskal
    • Prim
  • Traveling salesman problem (TSP)
    • Bruteforce algorithm
    • Minimum spanning tree heuristic (TSP MST heuristic)
    • Nearest neighbor heuristic (NN heuristic)
  • Maximum flow
  • Minimum cost flow (MCF)
    • Cycle canceling
    • Successive shortest path
  • Maximum matching
    • Flow algorithm

See graphp/algorithms for more details.


The recommended way to install this library is through Composer. New to Composer?

Once released, this project will follow SemVer. At the moment, this will install the latest development version:

composer require graphp/graph:^1@dev

See also the CHANGELOG for details about version upgrades.

This project aims to run on any platform and thus does not require any PHP extensions and supports running on legacy PHP 5.3 through current PHP 8+. It's highly recommended to use the latest supported PHP version for this project.

You may also want to install some of the additional components. A list of all official components can be found in the graphp project.


This library uses PHPUnit for its extensive test suite. To run the test suite, you first need to clone this repo and then install all dependencies through Composer:

composer install

To run the test suite, go to the project root and run:



This library comes with an extensive test suite and is regularly tested and used in the real world. Despite this, this library is still considered beta software and its API is subject to change. The changelog lists all relevant information for updates between releases.

If you encounter any issues, please don't hesitate to drop us a line, file a bug report or even best provide us with a patch / pull request and/or unit test to reproduce your problem.

Besides directly working with the code, any additional documentation, additions to our readme or even fixing simple typos are appreciated just as well.

Any feedback and/or contribution is welcome!

Check out #graphp on


This project is released under the permissive MIT license.

Did you know that I offer custom development services and issuing invoices for sponsorships of releases and for contributions? Contact me (@clue) for details.