Finding frequent patterns in a large sparse graph

Michikro Kuramochi, George Karypis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

273 Scopus citations


Graph-based modeling has emerged as a powerful abstraction capable of capturing in a single and unified framework many of the relational, spatial, topological, and other characteristics that are present in a variety of datasets and application areas. Computationally efficient algorithms that find patterns corresponding to frequently occurring subgraphs play an important role in developing data mining-driven methodologies for analyzing the graphs resulting from such datasets. This paper presents two algorithms, based on the horizontal and vertical pattern discovery paradigms, that find the connected subgraphs that have a sufficient number of edge-disjoint embeddings in a single large undirected labeled sparse graph. These algorithms use three different methods for determining the number of edge-disjoint embeddings of a subgraph and employ novel algorithms for candidate generation and frequency counting, which allow them to operate on datasets with different characteristics and to quickly prune unpromising subgraphs. Experimental evaluation on real datasets from various domains show that both algorithms achieve good performance, scale well to sparse input graphs with more than 120,000 vertices or 110,000 edges, and significantly outperform previously developed algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-271
Number of pages29
JournalData Mining and Knowledge Discovery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗This work was supported in part by NSF CCR-9972519, EIA-9986042, ACI-9982274, ACI-0133464, and ACI-0312828; the Digital Technology Center at the University of Minnesota; and by the Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC) under the auspices of the Department of the Army, Army Research Laboratory (ARL) under Cooperative Agreement number DAAD19-01-2-0014. The content of which does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the government, and no official endorsement should be inferred. Access to research and computing facilities was provided by the Digital Technology Center and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.


  • Frequent subgraph
  • Graph mining
  • Pattern discovery


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