Finding Regular Simple Paths in Graph Databases.

Alberto O. Mendelzon, Peter T. Wood: Finding Regular Simple Paths in Graph Databases. VLDB 1989: 185-193
  author    = {Alberto O. Mendelzon and
               Peter T. Wood},
  editor    = {Peter M. G. Apers and
               Gio Wiederhold},
  title     = {Finding Regular Simple Paths in Graph Databases},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Very
               Large Data Bases, August 22-25, 1989, Amsterdam, The Netherlands},
  publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann},
  year      = {1989},
  isbn      = {1-55860-101-5},
  pages     = {185-193},
  ee        = {db/conf/vldb/MendelzonW89.html},
  crossref  = {DBLP:conf/vldb/89},
  bibsource = {DBLP,}


We consider the following problem: given a labelled directed graph G and a regular expression R, find all pairs of nodes connected by a simple path such that the concatenation of the labels along the path satisfies R. The problem is motivated by the observation that many recursive queries can be expressed in this form, and by the implementation of a query language, G+, based on this observation. We show that the problem is in general intractable, but present an algorithm than runs in polynomial time in the size of the graph when the regular expressionand the graph are free of conflicts. We also present a class of languages whose expressions can always be evaluated in time polynomial in the size of both the database and the expression, and characterize syntactically the expressions for such languages.

Copyright © 1989 by the VLDB Endowment. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the VLDB copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by the permission of the Very Large Data Base Endowment. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires a fee and/or special permission from the Endowment.

Online Paper

ACM SIGMOD Anthology

CDROM Version: Load the CDROM "Volume 1 Issue 5, VLDB '89-'97" and ... DVD Version: Load ACM SIGMOD Anthology DVD 1" and ... BibTeX

Printed Edition

Peter M. G. Apers, Gio Wiederhold (Eds.): Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, August 22-25, 1989, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Morgan Kaufmann 1989, ISBN 1-55860-101-5


Rakesh Agrawal: Alpha: An Extension of Relational Algebra to Express a Class of Recursive Queries. ICDE 1987: 580-590 BibTeX
Alfred V. Aho, John E. Hopcroft, Jeffrey D. Ullman: The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms. Addison-Wesley 1974, ISBN 0-201-00029-6
Isabel F. Cruz, Alberto O. Mendelzon, Peter T. Wood: A Graphical Query Language Supporting Recursion. SIGMOD Conference 1987: 323-330 BibTeX
Isabel F. Cruz, Alberto O. Mendelzon, Peter T. Wood: G+: Recursive Queries Without Recursion. Expert Database Conf. 1988: 645-666 BibTeX
Norman M. Delisle, Mayer D. Schwartz: Neptune: a Hypertext System for CAD Applications. SIGMOD Conference 1986: 132-143 BibTeX
Steven Fortune, John E. Hopcroft, James Wyllie: The Directed Subgraph Homeomorphism Problem. Theor. Comput. Sci. 10: 111-121(1980) BibTeX
Gösta Grahne, Seppo Sippu, Eljas Soisalon-Soininen: Efficient Evaluation for a Subset of Recursive Queries. PODS 1987: 284-293 BibTeX
John E. Hopcroft, Jeffrey D. Ullman: Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages and Computation. Addison-Wesley 1979, ISBN 0-201-02988-X
Harry B. Hunt III, Daniel J. Rosenkrantz, Thomas G. Szymanski: On the Equivalence, Containment, and Covering Problems for the Regular and Context-Free Languages. J. Comput. Syst. Sci. 12(2): 222-268(1976) BibTeX
Yannis E. Ioannidis, Raghu Ramakrishnan: Efficient Transitive Closure Algorithms. VLDB 1988: 382-394 BibTeX
Arnon Rosenthal, Sandra Heiler, Umeshwar Dayal, Frank Manola: Traversal Recursion: A Practical Approach to Supporting Recursive Applications. SIGMOD Conference 1986: 166-176 BibTeX
Larry J. Stockmeyer, Albert R. Meyer: Word Problems Requiring Exponential Time: Preliminary Report. STOC 1973: 1-9 BibTeX

Referenced by

  1. Chris Clifton, Hector Garcia-Molina, David Bloom: HyperFile: A Data and Query Model for Documents. VLDB J. 4(1): 45-86(1995)
  2. Keh-Chang Guh, Clement T. Yu: Efficient Query Processing for a Subset of Linear Recursive Binary Rules. IEEE Trans. Knowl. Data Eng. 6(5): 842-849(1994)
  3. Lil Mohan, Rangasami L. Kashyap: A Visual Query Language for Graphical Interaction with Schema-Intensive Databases. IEEE Trans. Knowl. Data Eng. 5(5): 843-858(1993)
  4. Shaul Dar, Rakesh Agrawal: Extending SQL with Generalized Transitive Closure Functionality. IEEE Trans. Knowl. Data Eng. 5(5): 799-812(1993)
  5. Marc Andries, Marc Gemis, Jan Paredaens, Inge Thyssens, Jan Van den Bussche: Concepts for Graph-Oriented Object Manipulation. EDBT 1992: 21-38
  6. Shaul Dar, Rakesh Agrawal, H. V. Jagadish: Optimization of Generalized Transitive Closure Queries. ICDE 1991: 345-354
  7. Peter T. Wood: Factoring Augmented Regular Chain Programs. VLDB 1990: 255-263
  8. Chris Clifton, Hector Garcia-Molina: Indexing in a Hypertext Database. VLDB 1990: 36-49
  9. Mariano P. Consens, Alberto O. Mendelzon: The G+/GraphLog Visual Query System. SIGMOD Conference 1990: 388
  10. Mihalis Yannakakis: Graph-Theoretic Methods in Database Theory. PODS 1990: 230-242
  11. Mariano P. Consens, Alberto O. Mendelzon: GraphLog: a Visual Formalism for Real Life Recursion. PODS 1990: 404-416
ACM SIGMOD Anthology - DBLP: [Home | Search: Author, Title | Conferences | Journals]
VLDB Proceedings: Copyright © by VLDB Endowment,
ACM SIGMOD Anthology: Copyright © by ACM (, Corrections:
DBLP: Copyright © by Michael Ley (, last change: Sat May 16 23:45:41 2009