Spanner Approximations in Practice

Authors Markus Chimani , Finn Stutzenstein

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Markus Chimani
  • Theoretical Computer Science, Universität Osnabrück, Germany
Finn Stutzenstein
  • Theoretical Computer Science, Universität Osnabrück, Germany

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Markus Chimani and Finn Stutzenstein. Spanner Approximations in Practice. In 30th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 244, pp. 37:1-37:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


A multiplicative α-spanner H is a subgraph of G = (V,E) with the same vertices and fewer edges that preserves distances up to the factor α, i.e., d_H(u,v) ≤ α⋅ d_G(u,v) for all vertices u, v. While many algorithms have been developed to find good spanners in terms of approximation guarantees, no experimental studies comparing different approaches exist. We implemented a rich selection of those algorithms and evaluate them on a variety of instances regarding, e.g., their running time, sparseness, lightness, and effective stretch.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Sparsification and spanners
  • General and reference → Experimentation
  • Graph spanners
  • experimental study
  • algorithm engineering


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