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Updated (17 March 2010): Gilleain and myself were able to code an ultrafast VF2 algorithm for Isomorphism substructure search (permutation bug is resolved). The code is ported or re-factored from Chemkit and I have further optimised the code at our end. The previous VF2 code in the SMSD is more MCS oriented which was a big compromise in terms of speed while performing a substructure search. I have mentioned these issues in a previous blog. The whole idea of a substructure search is to answer a boolean question i.e. is A a subgraph/substructure of B ? If the answer is true then matching atoms are reported. On the other hand MCS where it’s about reporting the commonality between A and B.

Below is the benchmark graph which speaks about the performance (30 queries were subjected to 15030 targets, same as my previous benchmark test cases) of the VF2.

Optimised Chemkit VF2 vs CDK's UIT
Substructure benchmark results between VF and CDK’s UIT
X-axis: 30 test cases subjected to 15030 targets (results are sorted in ascending order of the query atom count). Y- axis: total percentage of time spent in calculating the substructures.

As is apparent from the benchmark graph, VF2 takes less than 10-20% of the total time (in most cases) for performing substructure searches (results are sorted in ascending order of the query atom count). So as for now we have an implementation which at last outperforms UIT (CDK code) in terms of speed for automorphic graphs. The performance of the VF2 improves as the query atom count (graph size) increases. We might need a few changes in the CDK AtomContainer class itself to further improve the speed/performance but this will involve further discussions with CDK developers.