Graph BLAS Forum

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Goals and premises

The Graph BLAS Forum is an open effort to define standard building blocks for graph algorithms in the language of linear algebra.

We believe that the state of the art in constructing a large collection of graph algorithms in terms of linear algebraic operations is mature enough to support the emergence of a standard set of primitive building blocks. We believe that it is critical to move quickly and define such a standard, thereby freeing up researchers to innovate and diversify at the level of higher level algorithms and graph analytics applications. This effort was inspired by the Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms (BLAS) of dense Linear Algebra, and hence our working name for this standard is “the Graph BLAS”.

A key insight behind this work is that when a graph is represented by a sparse incidence or adjacency matrix, sparse matrix-vector multiplication is a step of breadth first search. By generalizing the pair of scalar operations involved in the linear algebra computations to define a semiring, we can extend the range of these primitives to support a wide range of parallel graph algorithms.


More information

Our 2013 manifesto for this project can be found here.

The mathematical definition of the Graph BLAS can be found here.

Background information about graphs in the language of linear algebra can be found in the book: Graph Algorithms in the Language of Linear Algebra, edited by J. Kepner and J. Gilbert, SIAM, 2011.

A straw man proposal for the Graph BLAS can be found here.

Contribute a paper on any aspect of building blocks for graph algorithms to the Graph Algorithms Building Blocks session at HPEC 2016.


Application Program Interface (API)

The C language API development is in the final stages, pursued by the following group (alphabetical): Aydın Buluç, Tim Mattson, Scott McMillan, José Moreira, Carl Yang

Check back here by July 2016 for the document.


GraphBLAS mailing list

If you wish to join our effort (or just watch it), please send an email message to our mailing list coordinator.


Workshops and conferences featuring the Graph BLAS (reverse chronological)


Projects developing implementations of the Graph BLAS

Steering Committee (alphabetical)

  • David Bader (Georgia Tech)
  • Jeremy Kepner (MIT Lincoln Labs)
  • Tim Mattson (Intel)
  • Henning Meyerhenke (KIT)