Calculating the shortest path

To calculate the shortest path between two nodes in a dataset, select the nodes and right-click to select Shortest Path from the context menu.

The time that it takes to calculate shortest paths is relative to the length of possible paths and the size of the schema of a dataset. Longer paths take more processing steps to calculate and complex ontology configurations can multiply the number of paths to test. The raw size of the dataset can also impact processing times.

You can limit the amount of data that is processed in one of the following ways:

  • By using the Dashboard Filter feature in the Expansion tab. For example, you can limit the shortest path by which two companies are co-mentioned to use only "Articles in 2013" by applying this filter to the Article dashboard and then selecting Article as a dashboard filter.

  • By deselecting unwanted relations. The more relations that you apply, the more complex the search will be.

You can also specify the following limits:

  • Maximum path length: This setting controls how many steps along a potential path the calculation can travel. The algorithm identifies increasingly longer paths connecting the selected nodes, up to the specified maximum path length.

  • Maximum retrieved records per join: This setting limits the number of records that are returned by each back-end query that extracts entities connecting the selected nodes. This roughly translates to the count of selected nodes returned for each entity table or entity identifier that is encountered while detecting paths.

The shortest path algorithm respects the timeout parameters that are specified in relational properties and the siren:joinTaskTimeout advanced parameter. You can use these values to set a maximum time to complete queries.