Median graph: A new exact algorithm using a distance based on the maximum common subgraph

M. Ferrer, E. Valveny, F. Serratosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Median graphs have been presented as a useful tool for capturing the essential information of a set of graphs. Nevertheless, computation of optimal solutions is a very hard problem. In this work we present a new and more efficient optimal algorithm for the median graph computation. With the use of a particular cost function that permits the definition of the graph edit distance in terms of the maximum common subgraph, and a prediction function in the backtracking algorithm, we reduce the size of the search space, avoiding the evaluation of a great amount of states and still obtaining the exact median. We present a set of experiments comparing our new algorithm against the previous existing exact algorithm using synthetic data. In addition, we present the first application of the exact median graph computation to real data and we compare the results against an approximate algorithm based on genetic search. These experimental results show that our algorithm outperforms the previous existing exact algorithm and in addition show the potential applicability of the exact solutions to real problems. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-588
JournalPattern Recognition Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • Graph matching
  • Maximum common subgraph
  • Median graph
  • Minimum common supergraph


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