The main advantages of Tarjan’s strongly connected component (SCC) algorithm are its linear time complexity and ability to return SCCs on-the-fly, while traversing or even generating the graph. Until now, most parallel SCC algorithms sacrifice both: they run in quadratic worst-case time and/or require the full graph in advance.
The current paper presents a novel parallel, on-the-fly SCC algorithm. It preserves the linear-time property by letting workers explore the graph randomly while carefully communicating partially completed SCCs. We prove that this strategy is correct. For efficiently communicating partial SCCs, we develop a concurrent, iterable disjoint set structure (combining the union-find data structure with a cyclic list).
We demonstrate scalability on a 64-core machine using 75 real-world graphs (from model checking and explicit data graphs), synthetic graphs (combinations of trees, cycles and linear graphs), and random graphs. Previous work did not show speedups for graphs containing a large SCC. We observe that our parallel algorithm is typically 10-30× faster compared to Tarjan’s algorithm for graphs containing a large SCC. Comparable performance (with respect to the current state-of-the-art) is obtained for graphs containing many small SCCs.
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