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Efficiently Answering Span Reachability Queries


27 January 2021

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Efficiently Answering Span Reachability Queries in Large Temporal Graphs


Reachability is a fundamental problem in graph analysis. In applications such as social networks and collaboration networks, edges are always associated with timestamps. Most existing works on reachability queries in temporal graphs assume that two vertices are related if they are connected by a path with non-decreasing timestamps (time-respecting) of edges. This assumption fails to capture the relationship between entities involved in the same group or activity with no time-respecting path connecting them.

In this paper, we define a new reachability model, called span-reachability, designed to relax the time order dependency and identify the relationship between entities in a given time period. We adopt the idea of two-hop cover and propose an index-based method to answer span-reachability queries. Several optimizations are also given to improve the efficiency of index construction and query processing. We conduct extensive experiments on 17 real-world datasets to show the efficiency of our proposed solution.

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