More Hierarchy in Route Planning Using Edge Hierarchies

Authors Demian Hespe, Peter Sanders

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Demian Hespe
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Peter Sanders
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

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Demian Hespe and Peter Sanders. More Hierarchy in Route Planning Using Edge Hierarchies. In 19th Symposium on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS 2019). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 75, pp. 10:1-10:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


A highly successful approach to route planning in networks (particularly road networks) is to identify a hierarchy in the network that allows faster queries after some preprocessing that basically inserts additional "shortcut"-edges into a graph. In the past there has been a succession of techniques that infer a more and more fine grained hierarchy enabling increasingly more efficient queries. This appeared to culminate in contraction hierarchies that assign one hierarchy level to each vertex. In this paper we show how to identify an even more fine grained hierarchy that assigns one level to each edge of the network. Our findings indicate that this can lead to considerably smaller search spaces in terms of visited edges. Currently, this rarely implies improved query times so that it remains an open question whether edge hierarchies can lead to consistently improved performance. However, we believe that the technique as such is a noteworthy enrichment of the portfolio of available techniques that might prove useful in the future.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Shortest paths
  • Mathematics of computing → Paths and connectivity problems
  • Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
  • shortest path
  • hierarchy
  • road networks
  • preprocessing


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