Scalable Parallel Minimum Spanning Forest Computation

Sadegh Nobari, Thanh-Tung Cao, Panagiotis Karras, Stephane Bressan
National University of Singapore
17th ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming (PPoPP’12), 2012


   title={Scalable Parallel Minimum Spanning Forest Computation},

   author={Nobari, S. and Cao, T.T. and Karras, P. and Bressan, S.},



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The proliferation of data in graph form calls for the development of scalable graph algorithms that exploit parallel processing environments. One such problem is the computation of a graph’s minimum spanning forest (MSF). Past research has proposed several parallel algorithms for this problem, yet none of them scales to large, high-density graphs. In this paper we propose a novel, scalable, parallel MSF algorithm for undirected weighted graphs. Our algorithm leverages Prim’s algorithm in a parallel fashion, concurrently expanding several subsets of the computed MSF. Our effort focuses on minimizing the communication among different processors without constraining the local growth of a processor’s computed subtree. In effect, we achieve a scalability that previous approaches lacked. We implement our algorithm in CUDA, running on a GPU and study its performance using real and synthetic, sparse as well as dense, structured and unstructured graph data. Our experimental study demonstrates that our algorithm outperforms the previous state-of-the-art GPU-based MSF algorithm, while being several order of magnitude faster than sequential CPU-based algorithms.
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