The lack of arbitrariness in the choice of bond graph sign conventions is established. It is shown that an unoriented bond graph may have no unique meaning and that with certain choices of orientation a bond graph may not correspond to any lumped parameter system constructed from the same set of elements. Network interpretations of these two facts are given. Defining a bond graph as an oriented object leads to the consideration of equivalence classes of oriented bond graphs which represent the same system. It is also shown that only changes in the orientation of bonds connecting 0-junctions and 1-junctions can lead to changes in the observable properties of a bond graph model.

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