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A toolbox for graph kernels and approximate graph edit distance algorithms



To use this toolbox, you'll need the LSAPE library and set up your LSAPE_DIR environment variable. For instance if you use bash, in your .bashrc file :

export LSAPE_DIR=/path/to/your/local/lsape/include/

or with csh (in your .cshrc):

setenv LSAPE_DIR /path/to/your/local/lsape/include/

You can download a compatible version of LSAPE here


This toolbox uses TinyXML to parse Graphml and GXL graph formats.


You'll need also the Eigen library in version 3.2 or higher. You may need to update the makefile with your local eigen's headers directory. A compatible version is also available here.


The toolbox uses OpenMP for the multithreaded versions. You can compile the sequential versions without OpenMP.

How to use the toolbox ?


Requirements : GNU C++ compiler g++ 4.8 or higher.

Open a terminal and move to the proper graph-lib directory, then type make. This will create in the directory bin the following files :

  • A static library graphlib.a
  • An executable chemical-edit-distances

You can use this executable to compute the edit distance of all pair of molecules in a dataset. See the section Usage below. You can also choose one of the following targets (more options) :

  • with_times : compute all distances in a dataset and print computation time - Sequetial version
  • multithread : compute all distances in a dataset - Multithreaded version
  • multithread_with_times : compute all distances in a dataset and print computation time - Multithreaded version and type make <target> in a terminal, replacing <target> by your choice.

Usage of the given example

To use the executable bin/compute-edit-distances :

./compute-edit-distances   dataset   [options]  -m  method 

With dataset the path to your .ds file listing the graph files of your dataset. Options can be :

  • -s : apply shuffling to the nodes of the graphs
  • -p N : number of edit paths set to N (for multiple bipatite and multistart refinement versions)

Methods can be : (Bipartite)

  • lsape_bunke - Bipartite based on star assignments cost matrices
  • lsape_multi_bunke - Multi-solution version of lsape_bunke
  • lsape_rw - Bipartite based on random walks assignments cost matrices
  • lsape_multi_rw - Multi-solution version of lsape_rw
  • lsape_multi_greedy - Multi-solution approximating lsape_bunke


  • ipfpe_flat - IPFP with flat continuous initialization
  • ipfpe_bunke - IPFP refining an lsape_bunke solution
  • ipfpe_multi_bunke - Multistart IPFP refining bipartite lsape_multi_bunke solutions
  • ipfpe_rw - IPFP refining an lsape_rw solutions
  • ipfpe_multi_rw - Multistart IPFP refining bipartite lsape_multi_rw solutions
  • ipfpe_multi_greedy - Multistart IPFP refining bipartite lsape_multi_greedy solutions
  • ipfpe_multi_random - Multistart IPFP with random discrete initializations
  • gnccp - GNCCP algorithm

You can find some of the datasets used in the experiments of this article on the GREYC's Chemistry datasets webpage.

Use the toolbox in your code

If you want to use this toolbox in your code, you can include the file graph_edit_distance.h in the root directory. This header defines 4 helper functions to compute approximate graph edit distances and graph matchings :

  • double graph_edit_distance ( Graph&, Graph&, EditDistanceCost*, options )
  • double* graph_edit_distance ( Dataset& EditDistanceCost*, options )
  • double edit_distance_mapping ( Graph&, Graph&, ECMapping**, EditDistanceCost*, options )
  • double edit_distance_mappings ( Graph&, Graph&, std::list<ECMapping*>, EditDistanceCost*, options )

The first one and the second one allow to compute approximate graph edit distance between resp. two graphs and all pairs of a dataset. The last ones compute graph mappings. Check out the documentation in this file, as well as the example file : test/frontend_example.cpp.

Basically you will need to create at least two graphs with the Graph<NodeAttr, EdgeAttr> class, or load a graph dataset with the Dataset<NodeAttr, EdgeAttr, PropertyType> class, a cost function adapted to your graphs (take a look at include/GraphEditDistance.h for more details), and set up some options. Then you can call one of the later functions :

  /* Define a edit distance cost */
  ConstantEditDistanceCost* cf = new ConstantEditDistanceCost(1,3,3,1,3,3);

  /* Load a dataset */
  ChemicalDataset<double>  dataset(argv[1]);

  /* Set some options from the default */
  ged_opts opts = default_refined_opts;
  opts.method = IPFPE_RW;
  opts.ged_output_format = FORMAT_MATRIX;
  opts.dataset_both_dir = true;
  opts.dataset_identity = true;
  double * matrix = graph_edit_distance<int,int> (dataset, cf, opts);

The mappings are encoded as two arrays encapsulated in the class ECMapping. The first array corresponds to the mapping of the nodes of g1 and is accessible via ECMapping::f(unsigned int). The second one corresponds to the mapping of the nodes of g2 and is accessible via ECMapping::r(unsigned int). The cost of the mapping is accessible via ECMapping::cost()

  /* A best mapping from g1 to g2  */
  ECMapping *mapping = NULL;
  double d = edit_distance_mapping<int,int>( g1, g2, &mapping, NULL, opts);
  for (uint i=0; i<g1.Size(); i++) /* Show the mapping of g1's nodes */
    cout << mapping->f(i) << " ";
  cout << endl;

Compile with your code

To compile your code, you will have to tell your compiler where are the templated headers of the library and the dependencies, and to link tinyxml. With G++, add to your flags :

CXXFLAGS += -ltinyxml

and set the three variables properly. The library needs also C++11 standard : CXXFLAGS += -std=c++11. Then you can use the static library as a list of compiled object files, for example in a makefile:

myTarget: my  dependancies  graphlib.a
	$(CXX) -o $@ $^ $(CXXFLAGS)


If you use part of the implemented methods, please cite the corresponding article :


C++ library for graph kernel and edit distance algorithm



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