Relationships (Arrows)

Arrows connect Nodes, showing that one Party has a relationship with another. Most often, this is used to show a Direct Interest.

Parties and their interests in a BOVS Diagram


The direction of the Arrow is the direction of the relationship as phrased in an active voice.

  • For Arrows representing interests, the Party at the start of the Arrow is interested in the Party at the end of the Arrow.
  • For Arrows representing other relationships (e.g. father and son), decide which direction you want to emphasise (e.g. “is the father of” vs. “is the son of”).

All interest Arrows in a diagram must proceed in the same direction whenever possible, e.g. always down, or always left/right, according to your chosen Directionality.

Nature and Strength

There are two types of interest relationship: ownership and control.

  • The nature of an interest is whether it is an ownership or control interest.
  • The strength of an interest is how much interest exists, for instance 10% ownership vs. 90% ownership.

Just one Arrow is used to represent any nature or strength of interest.

  • Under the Core Rules, the design of the Arrow provides no indication of the nature or strength of interest.
  • Using the Optional Features for Annotation and Colour, you can indicate the specific nature and/or strength of interest that an Arrow represents.

You must add an Annotation to explain non-interest relationship Arrows.


Non-interest relationship Arrows should be drawn less prominently than interest Arrows, for instance using a tint.

For all kinds of Arrows:

  • You may draw them straight, curly or with elbow joints – whatever works best.
  • Don’t omit the arrowhead – this ensures the direction of the relationship is clear.