Mining maximal cliques from large graphs using MapReduce

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Svendsen, Michael
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Srikanta Tirthapura
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Maximal clique enumeration (MCE), a fundamental task in graph analysis, can help identify dense substructures within a graph, and has found applications in graphs arising in biological and chemical networks, and more. While MCE is well studied in the sequential case, a single machine can no longer process large graphs arising in today's applications, and effective ways are needed for processing these in parallel.

This work introduces PECO (Parallel Enumeration of Cliques using Ordering); a novel parallel MCE algorithm. Unlike previous works, which require a post-processing step to remove duplicate and non-maximal cliques, PECO enumerates maximal cliques with no duplicates while minimizing work redundancy and eliminating the need for an additional post-processing step. This is achieved by dividing the input graph into smaller overlapping subgraphs, and by inducing a total ordering among the vertices. Then, as a subgraph is processed, the ordering is used in tandem with a sequential MCE algorithm to reduce redundant work while only enumerating a clique if it satisfies a certain condition with respect to the ordering, ensuring that each maximal clique is output exactly once. It is well recognized that in enumerating maximal cliques, the sizes of different subproblems can be non-uniform, and load balancing among the subproblems is a significant issue. Our algorithm uses the above vertex ordering to greatly improve load balancing when compared with straightforward approaches to parallelization. PECO has been designed and implemented for the MapReduce framework, but this technique is applicable to other parallel frameworks as well.

Our experiments on a variety of large real world graphs, using several ordering strategies, show that PECO can enumerate cliques in large graphs of well over a million vertices and tens of millions of edges, and that it scales well to at least 64 processors. A comparison of ordering strategies shows that an ordering based on vertex degree performs the best, improving load balance and reducing total work when compared to the other strategies.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2012