HARP: A fast spectral partitioner

Horst D. Simon, Andrew Sohn, Rupak Biswas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Partitioning unstructured graphs is central to the parallel solution of computational science and engineering problems. Spectral partitioners, such recursive spectral bisection (RSB), have proven effective in generating high-quality partitions of realistically-sized meshes. The major problem which hindered their widespread use was their long execution times. This paper presents a new inertial spectral partitioner, called HARP. The main objective of the proposed approach is to quickly partition the meshes at runtime in a manner that works efficiently for real applications in the context of distributed-memory machines. The underlying principle of HARP is to find the eigenvectors of the unpartitioned vertices and then project them onto the eigenvectors of the original mesh. Results for various meshes ranging in size from 1000 to 100,000 vertices indicate that HARP can indeed partition meshes rapidly at runtime. Experimental results show that our largest mesh can be partitioned sequentially in only a few seconds on an SP2 which is several times faster than other spectral partitioners while maintaining the solution quality of the proven RSB method. A parallel MPI version of HARP has also been implemented on IBM SP2 and Cray T3E. Parallel HARP, running on 64 processors SP2 and T3E, can partition a mesh containing more than 100,000 vertices into 64 subgrids in about half a second. These results indicate that graph partitioning can now be truly embedded in dynamically-changing real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 9th Annual ACM Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures, SPAA - Newport, RI, USA
Duration: Jun 22 1997Jun 25 1997


OtherProceedings of the 1997 9th Annual ACM Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures, SPAA
CityNewport, RI, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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