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We investigate new approaches for frequent graph-based pattern mining in graph datasets and propose a novel algorithm called gSpan (graph-based substructure pattern mining), which discovers frequent substructures without candidate generation. gSpan builds a new lexicographic order among graphs, and maps each graph to a unique minimum DFS code as its canonical label. Based on this lexicographic order gSpan adopts the depth-first search strategy to mine frequent connected subgraphs efficiently. Our performance study shows that gSpan substantially outperforms previous algorithms, sometimes by an order of magnitude.