Journal of Computer Science and Technology

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1237–1255

Efficient Relational Techniques for Processing Graph Queries


    • School of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of New South Wales
    • Managing Complexity GroupNational ICT Australia (NICTA), ATP
  • Ghazi Al-Naymat
    • School of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of New South Wales
Regular Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11390-010-9402-5

Cite this article as:
Sakr, S. & Al-Naymat, G. J. Comput. Sci. Technol. (2010) 25: 1237. doi:10.1007/s11390-010-9402-5


Graphs are widely used for modeling complicated data such as social networks, chemical compounds, protein interactions and semantic web. To effectively understand and utilize any collection of graphs, a graph database that efficiently supports elementary querying mechanisms is crucially required. For example, Subgraph and Supergraph queries are important types of graph queries which have many applications in practice. A primary challenge in computing the answers of graph queries is that pair-wise comparisons of graphs are usually hard problems. Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) have repeatedly been shown to be able to efficiently host different types of data such as complex objects and XML data. RDBMSs derive much of their performance from sophisticated optimizer components which make use of physical properties that are specific to the relational model such as sortedness, proper join ordering and powerful indexing mechanisms. In this article, we study the problem of indexing and querying graph databases using the relational infrastructure. We present a purely relational framework for processing graph queries. This framework relies on building a layer of graph features knowledge which capture metadata and summary features of the underlying graph database. We describe different querying mechanisms which make use of the layer of graph features knowledge to achieve scalable performance for processing graph queries. Finally, we conduct an extensive set of experiments on real and synthetic datasets to demonstrate the efficiency and the scalability of our techniques.


graph databasegraph querysubgraph querysupergraph query
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© Springer 2010