Efficient Shortest Paths on Massive Social Graphs

Xiaohan Zhao
Alessandra Sala
Haitao Zheng
Ben Y. Zhao

Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing (CollaborateCom)

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Paper Abstract

Analysis of large networks is a critical component of many of today's application environments, including online social networks, protein interactions in biological networks, and Internet traffic analysis. The arrival of massive network graphs with hundreds of millions of nodes, e.g. social graphs, presents a unique challenge to graph analysis applications. Most of these applications rely on computing distances between node pairs, which for large graphs can take minutes to compute using traditional algorithms such as breadth-first-search (BFS).

In this paper, we study ways to enable scalable graph processing for today's massive networks. We explore the design space of graph coordinate systems, a new approach that accurately approximates node distances in constant time by embedding graphs into coordinate spaces. We show that a hyperbolic embedding produces relatively low distortion error, and propose Rigel, a hyperbolic graph coordinate system that lends itself to efficient parallelization across a compute cluster. Rigel produces significantly more accurate results than prior systems, and is naturally parallelizable across compute clusters, allowing it to provide accurate results for graphs up to 43 million nodes. Finally, we show that Rigel's functionality can be easily extended to locate (near-) shortest paths between node pairs. After a one-time preprocessing cost, Rigel answers node-distance queries in 10's of microseconds, and also produces shortest path results up to 18 times faster than prior shortest-path systems with similar levels of accuracy.