Answering reachability queries on incrementally updated graphs by hierarchical labeling schema

Tak Lam WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We proposed a novel solution schema called the Hierarchical Labeling Schema (HLS) to answer reachability queries in directed graphs. Different from many existing approaches that focus on static directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), our schema focuses on directed cyclic graphs (DCGs) where vertices or arcs could be added to a graph incrementally. Unlike many of the traditional approaches, HLS does not require the graph to be acyclic in constructing its index. Therefore, it could, in fact, be applied to both DAGs and DCGs. When vertices or arcs are added to a graph, the HLS is capable of updating the index incrementally instead of re-computing the index from the scratch each time, making it more efficient than many other approaches in the practice. The basic idea of HLS is to create a tree for each vertex in a graph and link the trees together so that whenever two vertices are given, we can immediately know whether there is a path between them by referring to the appropriate trees. We conducted extensive experiments on both real-world datasets and synthesized datasets. We compared the performance of HLS, in terms of index construction time, query processing time and space consumption, with two state-of-the-art methodologies, the path-tree method and the 3-hop method. We also conducted simulations to model the situation when a graph is updated incrementally. The performance comparison of different algorithms against HLS on static graphs has also been studied. Our results show that HLS is highly competitive in the practice and is particularly useful in the cases where the graphs are updated frequently. Copyright © 2016 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC & Science Press, China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-399
JournalJournal of Computer Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


Wong, T-L. (2016). Answering reachability queries on incrementally updated graphs by hierarchical labeling schema. Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 31(2), 381-399.


  • Graph indexing
  • Reachability query
  • Hierarchical Labeling Schema (HLS)
  • Incremental update
  • Directed cyclic graph


Dive into the research topics of 'Answering reachability queries on incrementally updated graphs by hierarchical labeling schema'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.