## Abstract

Let k denote an integer greater than 2, let G denote a k-partite graph, and let S denote the set of all maximal k-partite cliques in G. Several open questions concerning the computation of S are resolved. A straightforward and highly-scalable modification to the classic recursive backtracking approach of Bron and Kerbosch is first described and shown to run in O(3 ^{n/3} ) time. A series of novel graph constructions is then used to prove that this bound is best possible in the sense that it matches an asymptotically tight upper limit on |S|. The task of identifying a vertex-maximum element of S is also considered and, in contrast with the k = 2 case, shown to be NP-hard for every k ≥ 3. A special class of k-partite graphs that arises in the context of functional genomics and other problem domains is studied as well and shown to be more readily solvable via a polynomial-time transformation to bipartite graphs. Applications, limitations, potentials for faster methods, heuristic approaches, and alternate formulations are also addressed.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 23 |

Journal | Algorithms |

Volume | 12 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 1 2019 |

## Keywords

- Dense subgraph enumeration
- Graph algorithms
- Maximal cliques
- Multipartite graphs