A RuleExpression describes where a
is applied in an element graph. Where
a Rule can be a
To pin down how a Rule behaves and where, a RuleExpression relies on the
class, where an ExpressionGraph is an actual graph
This expression graph is analogous to a text Regular Expression. A regular expression is used to match a sub-set
of text in a string. This enables efficient string replacement and parsing.
The expression graph is used to match a smaller graph inside a larger one so that the larger graph can be
manipulated. As in a regular expression, elements of the captured graph can be addressed and used.
The simplest application is to use a single ExpressionGraph to match a portion of a larger graph. Once found,
the calling rule can fire. Most commonly this is useful for the RuleAssert rule that looks for a given structure,
and if founds throws an error pinpointing the element in the graph that violates the assertion rule.
The second application is to have one ExpressionGraph identify distinguished elements in a larger graph, and
remove them. This is called graph contraction. The structure of the original graph is retained where possible.
Think of this as hiding elements in the larger graph so that a second ExpressionGraph can be applied to look
for a sub-graph.
If the second sub-graph is found, the calling Rule can execute. This most commonly used to partition a graph into
smaller graphs. For example, any sub-graph with source Taps and a single sink Group (Pipe) is a process Node (Mapper).
The third application is similar to the second. An ExpressionGraph is used to create a contracted graph of only
distinguished elements. The second ExpressionGraph finds a sub-graph in the contracted graph. This contracted
sub-graph is then isolated and all hidden elements are restored within the bounds of the sub-graph.
Finally a third ExpressionGraph is used to identify a location within the new sub-graph so the Rule can execute.
This is most commonly used to perform transformations within a graph. For example, to insert a temporary Tap into
the full assembly element graph to force boundaries between MapReduce jobs.