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IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2015 Sep 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Approximate Graph Edit Distance in Quadratic Time.


Graph edit distance is one of the most flexible and general graph matching models available. The major drawback of graph edit distance, however, is its computational complexity that restricts its applicability to graphs of rather small size. Recently the authors of the present paper introduced a general approximation framework for the graph edit distance problem. The basic idea of this specific algorithm is to first compute an optimal assignment of independent local graph structures (including substitutions, deletions, and insertions of nodes and edges). This optimal assignment is complete and consistent with respect to the involved nodes of both graphs and can thus be used to instantly derive an admissible (yet suboptimal) solution for the original graph edit distance problem in O(n3) time. For large scale graphs or graph sets, however, the cubic time complexity may still be too high. Therefore, we propose to use suboptimal algorithms with quadratic rather than cubic time for solving the basic assignment problem. In particular, the present paper introduces five different greedy assignment algorithms in the context of graph edit distance approximation. In an experimental evaluation we show that these methods have great potential for further speeding up the computation of graph edit distance while the approximated distances remain sufficiently accurate for graph based pattern classification.


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