### Querying Evolving Graphs with Portal

**2016-02-02**

1602.00773 | cs.DB

Graphs are used to represent a plethora of phenomena, from the Web and social
networks, to biological pathways, to semantic knowledge bases. Arguably the
most interesting and important questions one can ask about graphs have to do
with their evolution. Which Web pages are showing an increasing popularity
trend? How does influence propagate in social networks? How does knowledge
evolve?
This paper proposes a logical model of an evolving graph called a TGraph,
which captures evolution of graph topology and of its vertex and edge
attributes. We present a compositional temporal graph algebra TGA, and show a
reduction of TGA to temporal relational algebra with graph-specific primitives.
We formally study the properties of TGA, and also show that it is sufficient to
concisely express a wide range of common use cases. We describe an
implementation of our model and algebra in Portal, built on top of Apache Spark
/ GraphX. We conduct extensive experiments on real datasets, and show that
Portal scales.

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