Counting Connected Subgraphs with Maximum-Degree-Aware Sieving

Authors Andreas Björklund, Thore Husfeldt, Petteri Kaski, Mikko Koivisto

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Andreas Björklund
  • Department of Computer Science, Lund University, Sweden
Thore Husfeldt
  • BARC, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Lund University, Sweden
Petteri Kaski
  • Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Finland
Mikko Koivisto
  • Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki, Finland

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Andreas Björklund, Thore Husfeldt, Petteri Kaski, and Mikko Koivisto. Counting Connected Subgraphs with Maximum-Degree-Aware Sieving. In 29th International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 123, pp. 17:1-17:12, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


We study the problem of counting the isomorphic occurrences of a k-vertex pattern graph P as a subgraph in an n-vertex host graph G. Our specific interest is on algorithms for subgraph counting that are sensitive to the maximum degree Delta of the host graph. Assuming that the pattern graph P is connected and admits a vertex balancer of size b, we present an algorithm that counts the occurrences of P in G in O ((2 Delta-2)^{(k+b)/2} 2^{-b} n/(Delta) k^2 log n) time. We define a balancer as a vertex separator of P that can be represented as an intersection of two equal-size vertex subsets, the union of which is the vertex set of P, and both of which induce connected subgraphs of P. A corollary of our main result is that we can count the number of k-vertex paths in an n-vertex graph in O((2 Delta-2)^{floor[k/2]} n k^2 log n) time, which for all moderately dense graphs with Delta <= n^{1/3} improves on the recent breakthrough work of Curticapean, Dell, and Marx [STOC 2017], who show how to count the isomorphic occurrences of a q-edge pattern graph as a subgraph in an n-vertex host graph in time O(q^q n^{0.17q}) for all large enough q. Another recent result of Brand, Dell, and Husfeldt [STOC 2018] shows that k-vertex paths in a bounded-degree graph can be approximately counted in O(4^kn) time. Our result shows that the exact count can be recovered at least as fast for Delta<10. Our algorithm is based on the principle of inclusion and exclusion, and can be viewed as a sparsity-sensitive version of the "counting in halves"-approach explored by Björklund, Husfeldt, Kaski, and Koivisto [ESA 2009].

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
  • graph embedding
  • k-path
  • subgraph counting
  • maximum degree


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