Distributed computation of large-scale graph problems

Hartmut Klauck, Danupon Nanongkai, Gopal Pandurangan, Peter Robinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

65 Scopus citations


Motivated by the increasing need for fast distributed processing of large-scale graphs such as the Web graph and various social networks, we study a number of fundamental graph problems in the message-passing model, where we have k machines that jointly perform computation on an arbitrary n-node (typically, n 蠑 k) input graph. The graph is assumed to be randomly partitioned among the k ≥ 2 machines (a common implementation in many real world systems). The communication is point-to-point, and the goal is to minimize the time complexity, i.e., the number of communication rounds, of solving various fundamental graph problems. We present lower bounds that quantify the fundamental time limitations of distributively solving graph problems. We first show a lower bound of Q(n/k) rounds for computing a spanning tree (ST) of the input graph. This result also implies the same bound for other fundamental problems such as computing a minimum spanning tree (MST), breadth-first tree (BFS), and shortest paths tree (SPT). We also show an ω(n/k2) lower bound for connectivity, ST verification and other related problems. Our lower bounds develop and use new bounds in random-partition communication complexity. To complement our lower bounds, we also give algorithms for various fundamental graph problems, e.g., PageRank, MST, connectivity, ST verification, shortest paths, cuts, spanners, covering problems, densest subgraph, subgraph isomorphism, finding triangles, etc. We show that problems such as PageRank, MST, connectivity, and graph covering can be solved in O{n/k) time (the notation O hides polylog(n) factors and an additive polylog(n) term); this shows that one can achieve almost linear (in k) speedup, whereas for shortest paths, we present algorithms that run in O{n/\/k) time (for (1 + ∈)-factor approximation) and in O{n/k) time (for O(log n)-factor approximation) respectively. Our results are a step towards understanding the complexity of distributively solving large-scale graph problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2015
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781611973747
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event26th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2015 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2015Jan 6 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms


Conference26th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Mathematics(all)


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