Forum: Ruby on Rails Self-referential join model does not work

Announcement (2017-05-07): is now read-only since I unfortunately do not have the time to support and maintain the forum any more. Please see and for other Rails- und Ruby-related community platforms.
071bed059d68c032b5c07129192ab52c?d=identicon&s=25 Edoardo Marcora (marcora)
on 2006-03-15 04:11
(Received via mailing list)
I have been trying to model a labeled graph using ActiveRecord (trunk
version). Basically, I have a 'Node' model which represents a node
to other nodes. Links (aka edges) are labeled (i.e., have a 'label'
attribute and other behavior). Thus I decided to model edges as an
model and use a 'has_many :trough' association in the Node model.
it just doesn't work, regardless of how hard I've tried.

The database structure is as follows:

class InitialSchema < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def self.up
    create_table :nodes do |t|
      t.column :title, :string, :null => false
      t.column :body, :text, :null => false, :default => ''
    create_table :edges do |t|
      t.column :node_id, :integer, :null => false
      t.column :related_node_id, :integer, :null => false
      t.column :label, :string, :null => false, :default => ''
    add_index :edges, [:node_id, :related_node_id], :unique => true
  def self.down
    drop_table :edges
    drop_table :nodes

The two models are as follows:

class Node < ActiveRecord::Base
  validates_presence_of :title
  has_many :edges, :dependent => true
  has_many :related_nodes, :through => :edges, :class_name =>
'Node', :foreign_key => 'node_id'

class Edge < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :node
  belongs_to :related_node, :class_name => 'Node', :foreign_key =>
  validates_uniqueness_of :related_node_id, :scope => :node_id
  validates_presence_of :node, :related_node

In script/console I then create two nodes and link them with an edge as

>> from_node = Node.create :title => 'From'
>> to_node = Node.create :title => 'To'
>> e = Edge.create :node => from_node, :related_node => to_node
>> from_node.edges.find_first.related_node
=> #<Node:0xb7430ee4 @attributes={"body"=>"", "title"=>"To", "id"=>"2"}>

SO FAR SO GOOD! but if I ask the 'from_node' for 'related_nodes' this is
what I get back!!!

>> from_node.edges.related_nodes.find_first
=> #<Node:0xb742e20c @attributes={"body"=>"", "title"=>"From",

Same result even if I change :foreign_key in the Node model from
to 'related_node_id'. Furthermore, :association_foreign_key is not
as a parameter to has_many :through associations.

Does anybody have a clue of what I am doing wrong here? Or is it that
1.1 does not support self-referential join models?

Thanx in advance for the help and consideration,

Edoardo "Dado" Marcora
5fc52b212d554dd8e0337bf27a5187f3?d=identicon&s=25 Lee Marlow (Guest)
on 2006-03-17 23:19
(Received via mailing list)
See if the patch at works for
you.  It adds the :association_foreign_key to has_many.
071bed059d68c032b5c07129192ab52c?d=identicon&s=25 Edoardo "Dado" Marcora (Guest)
on 2006-03-20 06:17
Thanx for adding the ticket and for coming up with the patch. I am sure
things will be resolved quickly in rails/trunk.

Lee Marlow wrote:
> See if the patch at works for
> you.  It adds the :association_foreign_key to has_many.
6cf8286fcab5843f468d62f5e6fb22de?d=identicon&s=25 Henry Turner (Guest)
on 2006-03-29 18:47
(Received via mailing list)
Did you get this sorted?

I got something that works for me using the lovely :through. I copied
it onto a blogger account since it would have been real messy here....

This topic is locked and can not be replied to.