Fast Connectivity Minimization on Large-Scale Networks

Chen Chen, Ruiyue Peng, Lei Ying, Hanghang Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The connectivity of networks has been widely studied in many high-impact applications, ranging from immunization, critical infrastructure analysis, social network mining, to bioinformatic system studies. Regardless of the end application domains, connectivity minimization has always been a fundamental task to effectively control the functioning of the underlying system. The combinatorial nature of the connectivity minimization problem imposes an exponential computational complexity to find the optimal solution, which is intractable in large systems. To tackle the computational barrier, greedy algorithm is extensively used to ensure a near-optimal solution by exploiting the diminishing returns property of the problem. Despite the empirical success, the theoretical and algorithmic challenges of the problems still remain wide open. On the theoretical side, the intrinsic hardness and the approximability of the general connectivity minimization problem are still unknown except for a few special cases. On the algorithmic side, existing algorithms are hard to balance between the optimization quality and computational efficiency. In this article, we address the two challenges by (1) proving that the general connectivity minimization problem is NP-hard and is the best approximation ratio for any polynomial algorithms, and (2) proposing the algorithm CONTAIN and its variant CONTAIN+ that can well balance optimization effectiveness and computational efficiency for eigen-function based connectivity minimization problems in large networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number53
JournalACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Graph mining
  • network connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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