We have been asked how to accommodate two or more links connecting to the same two elements. By default, multiple links that connect the same two elements simply overlap one another, which makes interaction cumbersome. This tutorial introduces a solution - a function that automatically creates and adjusts link vertices to offset the overlapping links away from each other. We will be using the built-in JointJS geometry library.

In the following demo, try moving an element around to see how the links adjust. Then try to reconnect a link (by dragging its source/target arrowhead onto the pink element) and see how the other links regroup.

JointJS source code: multiple-links.js

The core of the solution lies in the `adjustVertices`

function presented below.
It accepts a `graph`

and a `cell`

(link or element).
For added convenience, the function accepts cell views as well as models.

- If
`cell`

is a link, it will find all links with the same source and target and then set vertices on them; we will be calling those related links 'siblings'. - If
`cell`

is an element, we execute our function for each distinct (different source and target) link connected to the element.

```
function adjustVertices(graph, cell) {
// if `cell` is a view, find its model
cell = cell.model || cell;
if (cell instanceof joint.dia.Element) {
// `cell` is an element
_.chain(graph.getConnectedLinks(cell))
.groupBy(function(link) {
// the key of the group is the model id of the link's source or target
// cell id is omitted
return _.omit([link.source().id, link.target().id], cell.id)[0];
})
.each(function(group, key) {
// if the member of the group has both source and target model
// then adjust vertices
if (key !== 'undefined') adjustVertices(graph, _.first(group));
})
.value();
return;
}
// `cell` is a link
// get its source and target model IDs
var sourceId = cell.get('source').id || cell.previous('source').id;
var targetId = cell.get('target').id || cell.previous('target').id;
// if one of the ends is not a model
// (if the link is pinned to paper at a point)
// the link is interpreted as having no siblings
if (!sourceId || !targetId) return;
// identify link siblings
var siblings = _.filter(graph.getLinks(), function(sibling) {
var siblingSourceId = sibling.source().id;
var siblingTargetId = sibling.target().id;
// if source and target are the same
// or if source and target are reversed
return ((siblingSourceId === sourceId) && (siblingTargetId === targetId))
|| ((siblingSourceId === targetId) && (siblingTargetId === sourceId));
});
var numSiblings = siblings.length;
switch (numSiblings) {
case 0: {
// the link has no siblings
break;
} case 1: {
// there is only one link
// no vertices needed
cell.unset('vertices');
break;
} default: {
// there are multiple siblings
// we need to create vertices
// find the middle point of the link
var sourceCenter = graph.getCell(sourceId).getBBox().center();
var targetCenter = graph.getCell(targetId).getBBox().center();
var midPoint = g.Line(sourceCenter, targetCenter).midpoint();
// find the angle of the link
var theta = sourceCenter.theta(targetCenter);
// constant
// the maximum distance between two sibling links
var GAP = 20;
_.each(siblings, function(sibling, index) {
// we want offset values to be calculated as 0, 20, 20, 40, 40, 60, 60 ...
var offset = GAP * Math.ceil(index / 2);
// place the vertices at points which are `offset` pixels perpendicularly away
// from the first link
//
// as index goes up, alternate left and right
//
// ^ odd indices
// |
// |----> index 0 sibling - centerline (between source and target centers)
// |
// v even indices
var sign = ((index % 2) ? 1 : -1);
// to assure symmetry, if there is an even number of siblings
// shift all vertices leftward perpendicularly away from the centerline
if ((numSiblings % 2) === 0) {
offset -= ((GAP / 2) * sign);
}
// make reverse links count the same as non-reverse
var reverse = ((theta < 180) ? 1 : -1);
// we found the vertex
var angle = g.toRad(theta + (sign * reverse * 90));
var vertex = g.Point.fromPolar(offset, angle, midPoint);
// replace vertices array with `vertex`
sibling.vertices([vertex]);
});
}
}
}
```

JointJS source code: multiple-links.js (lines 3-115)

We then attach the necessary event listeners (function `bindInteractionEvents`

).
The vertices are recalculated anytime the user translates an element - as well as anytime a link is
added/removed or has its source or target changed.

```
// bind `graph` to the `adjustVertices` function
var adjustGraphVertices = _.partial(adjustVertices, graph);
// adjust vertices when a cell is removed or its source/target was changed
graph.on('add remove change:source change:target', adjustGraphVertices);
// adjust vertices when the user stops interacting with an element
paper.on('cell:pointerup', adjustGraphVertices);
```

JointJS source code: multiple-links.js (lines 117-127)