HyGraph: a subgraph isomorphism algorithm for efficiently querying big graph databases

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JOURNAL OF BIG DATA, vol.9, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s40537-022-00589-0
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF BIG DATA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Exact matching algorithm, Graph database, Neo4j databases, Subgraph isomorphism problem, Query graph search
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The big graph database provides strong modeling capabilities and efficient querying for complex applications. Subgraph isomorphism which finds exact matches of a query graph in the database efficiently, is a challenging problem. Current subgraph isomorphism approaches mostly are based on the pruning strategy proposed by Ullmann. These techniques have two significant drawbacks- first, they are unable to efficiently handle complex queries, and second, their implementations need the large indexes that require large memory resources. In this paper, we describe a new subgraph isomorphism approach, the HyGraph algorithm, that is efficient both in querying and with memory requirements for index creation. We compare the HyGraph algorithm with two popular existing approaches, GraphQL and Cypher using complexity measures and experimentally using three big graph data sets-(1) a country-level population database, (2) a simulated bank database, and (3) a publicly available World Cup big graph database. It is shown that the HyGraph solution performs significantly better (or equally) than competing algorithms for the query operations on these big databases, making it an excellent candidate for subgraph isomorphism queries in real scenarios.