# Maximum k-Biplex Search on Bipartite Graphs: A Symmetric-BK Branching Approach

Enumerating maximal k-biplexes (MBPs) of a bipartite graph has been used for applications such as fraud detection. Nevertheless, there usually exists an exponential number of MBPs, which brings up two issues when enumerating MBPs, namely the effectiveness issue (many MBPs are of low values) and the efficiency issue (enumerating all MBPs is not affordable on large graphs). Existing proposals of tackling this problem impose constraints on the number of vertices of each MBP to be enumerated, yet they are still not sufficient (e.g., they require to specify the constraints, which is often not user-friendly, and cannot control the number of MBPs to be enumerated directly). Therefore, in this paper, we study the problem of finding K MBPs with the most edges called MaxBPs, where K is a positive integral user parameter. The new proposal well avoids the drawbacks of existing proposals. We formally prove the NP-hardness of the problem. We then design two branch-and-bound algorithms, among which, the better one called FastBB improves the worst-case time complexity to O^*(γ_k^ n), where O^* suppresses the polynomials, γ_k is a real number that relies on k and is strictly smaller than 2, and n is the number of vertices in the graph. For example, for k=1, γ_k is equal to 1.754. We further introduce three techniques for boosting the performance of the branch-and-bound algorithms, among which, the best one called PBIE can further improve the time complexity to O^*(γ_k^d^3) for large sparse graphs, where d is the maximum degree of the graph. We conduct extensive experiments on both real and synthetic datasets, and the results show that our algorithm is up to four orders of magnitude faster than all baselines and finding MaxBPs works better than finding all MBPs for a fraud detection application.

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