The Exact Distance to Destination in Undirected World

Springer Verlag
Publication Type:
Journal Article
VLDB Journal, 2012, 21 (6), pp. 869 - 888
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Shortest distance queries are essential not only in graph analysis and graph mining tasks but also in database applications, when a large graph needs to be dealt with. Such shortest distance queries are frequently issued by end-users or requested as a subroutine in real applications. For intensive queries on large graphs, it is impractical to compute shortest distances on-line from scratch, and impractical to materialize all-pairs shortest distances. In the literature, 2-hop distance labeling is proposed to index the all-pairs shortest distances. It assigns distance labels to vertices in a large graph in a pre-computing step off-line and then answers shortest distance queries on-line by making use of such distance labels, which avoids exhaustively traversing the large graph when answering queries. However, the existing algorithms to generate 2-hop distance labels are not scalable to large graphs. Finding an optimal 2-hop distance labeling is NP-hard, and heuristic algorithms may generate large size distance labels while still needing to pre-compute all-pairs shortest paths. In this paper, we propose a multi-hop distance labeling approach, which generates a subset of the 2-hop distance labels as index off-line. We can compute the multi-hop distance labels efficiently by avoiding pre-computing all-pairs shortest paths. In addition, our multi-hop distance labeling is small in size to be stored. To answer a shortest distance query between two vertices, we first generate the query-specific small set of 2-hop distance labels for the two vertices based on our multi-hop distance labels stored and compute the shortest distance between the two vertices based on the 2-hop distance labels generated on-line. We conducted extensive performance studies on large real graphs and confirmed the efficiency of our multi-hop distance labeling scheme.
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