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As the size of graphs for analysis continues to grow, methods of graph processing that scale well have become increasingly important. One way to handle large datasets is to disperse them across an array of networked computers, each of which implements simple sorting and accumulating, or MapReduce, operations. This cloud computing approach offers many attractive features. If decomposing useful graph operations in terms of MapReduce cycles is possible, it provides incentive for seriously considering cloud computing. Moreover, it offers a way to handle a large graph on a single machine that can't hold the entire graph as well as enables streaming graph processing. This article examines this possibility.
Date of Publication: July-Aug. 2009