Correlation Constraint Shortest Path over Large MultiRelation Graphs


Multi-relation graphs intuitively capture the heterogeneous correlations among real-world entities by allowing multiple types of relationships to be represented as entity-connecting edges, i.e., two entities could be correlated with more than one type of relationship. This is important in various applications such as social network analysis, ecology, and bio-informatics. Existing studies on these graphs usually consider an edge label constraint perspective, where each edge contains only one label and each edge is considered independently. For example, there are lines of research focusing on reachability between two vertices under a set of edge label constraints, or finding paths whose consecutive edge labels satisfy a user-specified logical expression. This is too restricted in real graphs, and in this work, we define a generic correlation constraint on multi-relation graphs from the perspective of vertex correlations, where a correlation can be defined recursively. Specifically, we formalize and investigate the shortest path problem over large multi-relation graphs in the presence of both necessity and denial constraints, which have various real applications. We show that it is nontrivial to apply conventional graph traversal algorithms (e.g., BFS or DFS) to address the challenge. To effectively reduce the search space, we propose a Hybrid Relation Encoding method, a.k.a. HyRE, to encode both topological and relation information in a compact way. We conduct extensive experiments over large real-world graphs to validate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed solution.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment