High-Quality Hypergraph Partitioning

  • Author(s):

    Sebastian Schlag

  • Source:

    Dissertation (2019)
    Institute of Theoretical Informatics

  • Date: Februar 2020


This dissertation focuses on computing high-quality solutions for the NP-hard balanced hypergraph partitioning problem: Given a hypergraph and an integer k, partition its vertex set into k disjoint blocks of bounded size, while minimizing an objective function over the hyperedges. Here, we consider the two most commonly used objectives: the cut-net metric and the connectivity metric.

Since the problem is computationally intractable, heuristics are used in practice - the most prominent being the three-phase multi-level paradigm: During coarsening, the hypergraph is successively contracted to obtain a hierarchy of smaller instances. After applying an initial partitioning algorithm to the smallest hypergraph, contraction is undone and, at each level, refinement algorithms try to improve the current solution.

With this work, we give a brief overview of the field and present several algorithmic improvements to the multi-level paradigm. Instead of using a logarithmic number of levels like traditional algorithms, we present two coarsening algorithms that create a hierarchy of (nearly) n levels, where n is the number of vertices. This makes consecutive levels as similar as possible and provides many opportunities for refinement algorithms to improve the partition. This approach is made feasible in practice by tailoring all algorithms and data structures to the nn-level paradigm, and developing lazy-evaluation techniques, caching mechanisms and early stopping criteria to speed up the partitioning process. Furthermore, we propose a sparsification algorithm based on locality-sensitive hashing that improves the running time for hypergraphs with large hyperedges, and show that incorporating global information about the community structure into the coarsening process improves quality. Moreover, we present a portfolio-based initial partitioning approach, and propose three refinement algorithms. Two are based on the Fiduccia-Mattheyses (FM) heuristic, but perform a highly localized search at each level. While one is designed for two-way partitioning, the other is the first FM-style algorithm that can be efficiently employed in the multi-level setting to directly improve k-way partitions. The third algorithm uses max-flow computations on pairs of blocks to refine k-way partitions. Finally, we present the first memetic multi-level hypergraph partitioning algorithm for an extensive exploration of the global solution space.

All contributions are made available through our open-source framework KaHyPar. In a comprehensive experimental study, we compare KaHyPar with hMETIS, PaToH, Mondriaan, Zoltan-AlgD, and HYPE on a wide range of hypergraphs from several application areas. Our results indicate that KaHyPar, already without the memetic component, computes better solutions than all competing algorithms for both the cut-net and the connectivity metric, while being faster than Zoltan-AlgD and equally fast as hMETIS. Moreover, KaHyPar compares favorably with the current best graph partitioning system KaFFPa - both in terms of solution quality and running time.