Calculating the shortest path

To calculate the shortest path between two nodes in a dataset:

  1. Select the nodes.

  2. Right-click and select Shortest Path.

  3. From the Choose Parameters window, enter the path length, maximum retrieved records, and join type.

  4. Click OK.

    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.

Getting results faster

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 processed in one of the following ways:

  • Available Dashboards 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.

  • Deselecting unwanted relations: The more relations that you apply, the more complex the search will be.

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.

Only relations with one eq equality operator are used in the current implementation.