Detecting Circular Dependencies in a Java project

Program Goal

  • Input : Path to Java project source files
  • Output : Folder containing image files of cyclic graphs for each class having circular dependencies


  • Get a list of all the class names in a Java project
  • Using Java Parser, create a Map of all the instance variables types belonging to a class. Filter the list of instance variable types against the list of class names.
  • Use JgraphT to create a directed graph using the Map of class names to instance variables.
  • Detect cycles for each vertex in the graph using JgraphT’s CycleDetector
  • Store graphs as PNG files using jgrapht-ext library

Code Snippets

####Collecting the Instance Variables of a Class using Java Parser

List<String> instanceVarsTypes = compilationUnit
  .map(f -> f.getVariables().get(0).getType()) // get the Variable Declarator
  .filter(v -> !v.isPrimitiveType())
  .map( v -> v.toString())				

Add to Map < Class Name , List of Instance Variable Types >

Map<String,List<String>> classNametoInstanceVarTypesMap = new HashMap<>();		

if(!instanceVarsTypes.isEmpty()) {
  String fileName = javaFile.getName();
  String className = fileName.substring(0, fileName.lastIndexOf('.'));
  classNametoInstanceVarTypesMap.put(className, instanceVarsTypes);

Create Directed Graph using Map

Graph<String, DefaultEdge> graph = new DefaultDirectedGraph<>(DefaultEdge.class);		
//add vertices
classNametoInstanceVarTypesMap.keySet().forEach(className ->{			
//add edges
  .forEach((className , instanceVariableTypes) -> {
      instanceVariableTypes.forEach( instVar -> {
        if (classNametoInstanceVarTypesMap.containsKey(instVar)){
          graph.addEdge(className, instVar);

Detect cycles for each vertex in the graph using JGraphT CycleDetector

CycleDetector<String, DefaultEdge> cycleDetector = new CycleDetector<String, DefaultEdge>(graph);

cycleDetector.findCycles().forEach(vertex -> {
  AsSubgraph<String, DefaultEdge> subGraph = new AsSubgraph<>(graph, cycleDetector.findCyclesContainingVertex(vertex));
  createImage( subGraph, imageName);
  • findCyclesContainingVertex(vertex) returns set of vertices participating in the cycle for a vertex. Create a subgraph of the main graph using these vertices.

    Create PNG Image of a graph

    ```java File imgFile = new File(imageFilePath); imgFile.createNewFile();

JGraphXAdapter<String, DefaultEdge> graphAdapter = new JGraphXAdapter<String, DefaultEdge>(subGraph);

mxIGraphLayout layout = new mxParallelEdgeLayout(graphAdapter); layout.execute(graphAdapter.getDefaultParent());

BufferedImage image = mxCellRenderer.createBufferedImage(graphAdapter, null, 2, Color.WHITE, true, null); if(image != null) { ImageIO.write(image, “PNG”, imgFile); } ```