Dynamic Graphs: Strongly Connected Components (SCC)

Chapter 4: Strongly Connected Components in Dynamic Graphs

Chapter 4: Strongly Connected Components (SCC) in Dynamic Graphs


A Strongly Connected Component (SCC) in a directed graph is a subgraph in which there's a directed path from any vertex to any other vertex within the subgraph. In dynamic graphs where edges and vertices can be added or removed, maintaining the SCCs efficiently is a challenging task. This chapter explores how to handle SCCs in dynamic scenarios.

Standard Algorithms for SCCs

Tarjan's algorithm and Kosaraju's algorithm are commonly used for finding SCCs in static graphs. Below is a brief outline of Tarjan's algorithm.

  TarjanSCC(Graph G):
    1. Initialize empty stack S, time = 0
    2. For each unvisited vertex v:
        3. strongconnect(v)

    1. Initialize v.index and v.lowlink to time, time++
    2. Push v onto S
    3. For each neighbor w of v:
        4. If w is unvisited, recurse on strongconnect(w)
        5. Update v.lowlink
    6. If v is a root node, pop stack and generate SCC

Dynamic Graphs and SCCs

The main challenges for maintaining SCCs in dynamic graphs are:

  • When an edge is added, the SCC structure may need to be updated.
  • When an edge is removed, an SCC may split into multiple smaller SCCs.

SCCs in Dynamic Graphs

Strategies for maintaining SCCs in dynamic graphs include:

  1. Recomputing from Scratch: This approach is straightforward but inefficient for large graphs.
  2. Incremental Updates: This approach aims to update the SCCs incrementally to save computation.

Incremental SCC Algorithm

  IncrementalSCC(Graph G_t, SCC_List):
    1. Detect changes (added/removed vertices and edges)
    2. Update SCC_List according to the changes
    3. Correct any inconsistencies in SCC_List


Strongly Connected Components are a critical aspect of directed graphs. Efficient algorithms for maintaining SCCs in dynamic graphs can be valuable for a variety of applications, from network analysis to web crawling.


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