A Semi-exact Algorithm for Quickly Computing A Maximum Weight Clique in Large Sparse Graphs

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Shaowei Cai
Jinkun Lin
Yiyuan Wang
Darren Strash


This paper explores techniques to quickly solve the maximum weight clique problem (MWCP) in very large scale sparse graphs. Due to their size, and the hardness of MWCP, it is infeasible to solve many of these graphs with exact algorithms. Although recent heuristic algorithms make progress in solving MWCP in large graphs, they still need considerable time to get a high-quality solution. In this work, we focus on solving MWCP for large sparse graphs within a short time limit. We propose a new method for MWCP which interleaves clique finding with data reduction rules. We propose novel ideas to make this process efficient, and develop an algorithm called FastWClq. Experiments on a broad range of large sparse graphs show that FastWClq finds better solutions than state-of-the-art algorithms while the running time of FastWClq is much shorter than the competitors for most instances. Further, FastWClq proves the optimality of its solutions for roughly half of the graphs, all with at least 105 vertices, with an average time of 21 seconds.

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