Graph OLAP: Towards Online Analytical Processing on Graphs

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) is an important notion in data analysis. Recently, more and more graph or networked data sources come into being. There exists a similar need to deploy graph analysis from different perspectives and with multiple granularities. However, traditional OLAP technology cannot handle such demands because it does not consider the links among individual data tuples. In this paper, we develop a novel graph OLAP framework, which presents a multi-dimensional and multi-level view over graphs. The contributions of this work are two-fold. First, starting from basic definitions, i.e., what are dimensions and measures in the graph OLAP scenario, we develop a conceptual framework for data cubes on graphs. We also look into different semantics of OLAP operations, and classify the framework into two major subcases: informational OLAP and topological OLAP. Then, with more emphasis on informational OLAP (topological OLAP will be covered in a future study due to the lack of space), we show how a graph cube can be materialized by calculating a special kind of measure called aggregated graph and how to implement it efficiently. This includes both full materialization and partial materialization where constraints are enforced to obtain an iceberg cube. We can see that the aggregated graphs, which depend on the graph properties of underlying networks, are much harder to compute than their traditional OLAP counterparts, due to the increased structural complexity of data. Empirical studies show insightful results on real datasets and demonstrate the efficiency of our proposed optimizations.


Databases and Information Systems | Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing

Research Areas

Data Management and Analytics


Proceedings of 2008 International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM '08)





City or Country

Pisa, Italy

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