Partitioning Complex Networks via Size-Constrained Clustering

  • Henning Meyerhenke
  • Peter Sanders
  • Christian Schulz
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8504)


The most commonly used method to tackle the graph partitioning problem in practice is the multilevel approach. During a coarsening phase, a multilevel graph partitioning algorithm reduces the graph size by iteratively contracting nodes and edges until the graph is small enough to be partitioned by some other algorithm. A partition of the input graph is then constructed by successively transferring the solution to the next finer graph and applying a local search algorithm to improve the current solution.

In this paper, we describe a novel approach to partition graphs effectively especially if the networks have a highly irregular structure. More precisely, our algorithm provides graph coarsening by iteratively contracting size-constrained clusterings that are computed using a label propagation algorithm. The same algorithm that provides the size-constrained clusterings can also be used during uncoarsening as a fast and simple local search algorithm.

Depending on the algorithm’s configuration, we are able to compute partitions of very high quality outperforming all competitors, or partitions that are comparable to the best competitor in terms of quality, hMetis, while being nearly an order of magnitude faster on average. The fastest configuration partitions the largest graph available to us with 3.3 billion edges using a single machine in about ten minutes while cutting less than half of the edges than the fastest competitor, kMetis.


Local Search Algorithm Coarse Level Input Graph Graph Partitioning Label Propagation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henning Meyerhenke
    • 1
  • Peter Sanders
    • 1
  • Christian Schulz
    • 1
  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

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