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GIT—a heuristic program for testing pairs of directed line graphs for isomorphism

By Stephen H. Unger

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 7 No. 1, Pages 26-34

Given a pair of directed line graphs, the problem of ascertaining whether or not they are isomorphic is one for which no efficient algorithmic solution is known. Since a straightforward enumerative algorithm might require 40 years of running time on a very high speed computer in order to compare two 15-node graphs, a more sophisticated approach seems called for. The situation is similar to that prevailing in areas such as game-playing and theorem-proving, where practical algorithms are unknown (for the interesting cases), but where various practical though only partially successful techniques are available. GIT—Graph Isomorphism Tester—incorporates a variety of processes that attempt to narrow down the search for an isomorphism, or to demonstrate that none exists. No one scheme is relied upon exclusively for a solution, and the program is designed to avoid excessive computation along fruitless lines. GIT has been written in the COMIT language and successfully tested on the IBM 7090.

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