Kruskal's Algorithm

Kruskal's Algorithm

In this tutorial, you will learn how Kruskal's Algorithmworks. Also, you will find working examples of Kruskal's Algorithm in C, C++, Java and Python.

Kruskal's algorithm is a minimum spanning tree algorithm that takes a graph as input and finds the subset of the edges of that graph which

  • form a tree that includes every vertex
  • has the minimum sum of weights among all the trees that can be formed from the graph

How Kruskal's algorithm works

It falls under a class of algorithms called greedy algorithms that find the local optimum in the hopes of finding a global optimum.

We start from the edges with the lowest weight and keep adding edges until we reach our goal.

The steps for implementing Kruskal's algorithm are as follows:

  1. Sort all the edges from low weight to high
  2. Take the edge with the lowest weight and add it to the spanning tree. If adding the edge created a cycle, then reject this edge.
  3. Keep adding edges until we reach all vertices.

Example of Kruskal's algorithm

Start with a weighted graph
Start with a weighted graph
Choose the edge with the least weight, if there are more than 1, choose anyone
Choose the edge with the least weight, if there are more than 1, choose anyone
Choose the next shortest edge and add it
Choose the next shortest edge and add it
Choose the next shortest edge that doesn't create a cycle and add it
Choose the next shortest edge that doesn't create a cycle and add it
Choose the next shortest edge that doesn't create a cycle and add it
Choose the next shortest edge that doesn't create a cycle and add it
Repeat until you have a spanning tree
Repeat until you have a spanning tree

Kruskal Algorithm Pseudocode

Any minimum spanning tree algorithm revolves around checking if adding an edge creates a loop or not.

The most common way to find this out is an algorithm called Union FInd. The Union-Find algorithm divides the vertices into clusters and allows us to check if two vertices belong to the same cluster or not and hence decide whether adding an edge creates a cycle.

KRUSKAL(G):
A = ∅
For each vertex v ∈ G.V:
    MAKE-SET(v)
For each edge (u, v) ∈ G.E ordered by increasing order by weight(u, v):
    if FIND-SET(u) ≠ FIND-SET(v):       
    A = A ∪ {(u, v)}
    UNION(u, v)
return A

Python, Java and C/C++ Examples

# Kruskal's algorithm in Python


class Graph:
    def __init__(self, vertices):
        self.V = vertices
        self.graph = []

    def add_edge(self, u, v, w):
        self.graph.append([u, v, w])

    # Search function

    def find(self, parent, i):
        if parent[i] == i:
            return i
        return self.find(parent, parent[i])

    def apply_union(self, parent, rank, x, y):
        xroot = self.find(parent, x)
        yroot = self.find(parent, y)
        if rank[xroot] < rank[yroot]:
            parent[xroot] = yroot
        elif rank[xroot] > rank[yroot]:
            parent[yroot] = xroot
        else:
            parent[yroot] = xroot
            rank[xroot] += 1

    #  Applying Kruskal algorithm
    def kruskal_algo(self):
        result = []
        i, e = 0, 0
        self.graph = sorted(self.graph, key=lambda item: item[2])
        parent = []
        rank = []
        for node in range(self.V):
            parent.append(node)
            rank.append(0)
        while e < self.V - 1:
            u, v, w = self.graph[i]
            i = i + 1
            x = self.find(parent, u)
            y = self.find(parent, v)
            if x != y:
                e = e + 1
                result.append([u, v, w])
                self.apply_union(parent, rank, x, y)
        for u, v, weight in result:
            print("%d - %d: %d" % (u, v, weight))


g = Graph(6)
g.add_edge(0, 1, 4)
g.add_edge(0, 2, 4)
g.add_edge(1, 2, 2)
g.add_edge(1, 0, 4)
g.add_edge(2, 0, 4)
g.add_edge(2, 1, 2)
g.add_edge(2, 3, 3)
g.add_edge(2, 5, 2)
g.add_edge(2, 4, 4)
g.add_edge(3, 2, 3)
g.add_edge(3, 4, 3)
g.add_edge(4, 2, 4)
g.add_edge(4, 3, 3)
g.add_edge(5, 2, 2)
g.add_edge(5, 4, 3)
g.kruskal_algo()
// Kruskal's algorithm in Java

import java.util.*;

class Graph {
  class Edge implements Comparable<Edge> {
    int src, dest, weight;

    public int compareTo(Edge compareEdge) {
      return this.weight - compareEdge.weight;
    }
  };

  // Union
  class subset {
    int parent, rank;
  };

  int vertices, edges;
  Edge edge[];

  // Graph creation
  Graph(int v, int e) {
    vertices = v;
    edges = e;
    edge = new Edge[edges];
    for (int i = 0; i < e; ++i)
      edge[i] = new Edge();
  }

  int find(subset subsets[], int i) {
    if (subsets[i].parent != i)
      subsets[i].parent = find(subsets, subsets[i].parent);
    return subsets[i].parent;
  }

  void Union(subset subsets[], int x, int y) {
    int xroot = find(subsets, x);
    int yroot = find(subsets, y);

    if (subsets[xroot].rank < subsets[yroot].rank)
      subsets[xroot].parent = yroot;
    else if (subsets[xroot].rank > subsets[yroot].rank)
      subsets[yroot].parent = xroot;
    else {
      subsets[yroot].parent = xroot;
      subsets[xroot].rank++;
    }
  }

  // Applying Krushkal Algorithm
  void KruskalAlgo() {
    Edge result[] = new Edge[vertices];
    int e = 0;
    int i = 0;
    for (i = 0; i < vertices; ++i)
      result[i] = new Edge();

    // Sorting the edges
    Arrays.sort(edge);
    subset subsets[] = new subset[vertices];
    for (i = 0; i < vertices; ++i)
      subsets[i] = new subset();

    for (int v = 0; v < vertices; ++v) {
      subsets[v].parent = v;
      subsets[v].rank = 0;
    }
    i = 0;
    while (e < vertices - 1) {
      Edge next_edge = new Edge();
      next_edge = edge[i++];
      int x = find(subsets, next_edge.src);
      int y = find(subsets, next_edge.dest);
      if (x != y) {
        result[e++] = next_edge;
        Union(subsets, x, y);
      }
    }
    for (i = 0; i < e; ++i)
      System.out.println(result[i].src + " - " + result[i].dest + ": " + result[i].weight);
  }

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    int vertices = 6; // Number of vertices
    int edges = 8; // Number of edges
    Graph G = new Graph(vertices, edges);

    G.edge[0].src = 0;
    G.edge[0].dest = 1;
    G.edge[0].weight = 4;

    G.edge[1].src = 0;
    G.edge[1].dest = 2;
    G.edge[1].weight = 4;

    G.edge[2].src = 1;
    G.edge[2].dest = 2;
    G.edge[2].weight = 2;

    G.edge[3].src = 2;
    G.edge[3].dest = 3;
    G.edge[3].weight = 3;

    G.edge[4].src = 2;
    G.edge[4].dest = 5;
    G.edge[4].weight = 2;

    G.edge[5].src = 2;
    G.edge[5].dest = 4;
    G.edge[5].weight = 4;

    G.edge[6].src = 3;
    G.edge[6].dest = 4;
    G.edge[6].weight = 3;

    G.edge[7].src = 5;
    G.edge[7].dest = 4;
    G.edge[7].weight = 3;
    G.KruskalAlgo();
  }
}
// Kruskal's algorithm in C

#include <stdio.h>

#define MAX 30

typedef struct edge {
  int u, v, w;
} edge;

typedef struct edge_list {
  edge data[MAX];
  int n;
} edge_list;

edge_list elist;

int Graph[MAX][MAX], n;
edge_list spanlist;

void kruskalAlgo();
int find(int belongs[], int vertexno);
void applyUnion(int belongs[], int c1, int c2);
void sort();
void print();

// Applying Krushkal Algo
void kruskalAlgo() {
  int belongs[MAX], i, j, cno1, cno2;
  elist.n = 0;

  for (i = 1; i < n; i++)
    for (j = 0; j < i; j++) {
      if (Graph[i][j] != 0) {
        elist.data[elist.n].u = i;
        elist.data[elist.n].v = j;
        elist.data[elist.n].w = Graph[i][j];
        elist.n++;
      }
    }

  sort();

  for (i = 0; i < n; i++)
    belongs[i] = i;

  spanlist.n = 0;

  for (i = 0; i < elist.n; i++) {
    cno1 = find(belongs, elist.data[i].u);
    cno2 = find(belongs, elist.data[i].v);

    if (cno1 != cno2) {
      spanlist.data[spanlist.n] = elist.data[i];
      spanlist.n = spanlist.n + 1;
      applyUnion(belongs, cno1, cno2);
    }
  }
}

int find(int belongs[], int vertexno) {
  return (belongs[vertexno]);
}

void applyUnion(int belongs[], int c1, int c2) {
  int i;

  for (i = 0; i < n; i++)
    if (belongs[i] == c2)
      belongs[i] = c1;
}

// Sorting algo
void sort() {
  int i, j;
  edge temp;

  for (i = 1; i < elist.n; i++)
    for (j = 0; j < elist.n - 1; j++)
      if (elist.data[j].w > elist.data[j + 1].w) {
        temp = elist.data[j];
        elist.data[j] = elist.data[j + 1];
        elist.data[j + 1] = temp;
      }
}

// Printing the result
void print() {
  int i, cost = 0;

  for (i = 0; i < spanlist.n; i++) {
    printf("\n%d - %d : %d", spanlist.data[i].u, spanlist.data[i].v, spanlist.data[i].w);
    cost = cost + spanlist.data[i].w;
  }

  printf("\nSpanning tree cost: %d", cost);
}

int main() {
  int i, j, total_cost;

  n = 6;

  Graph[0][0] = 0;
  Graph[0][1] = 4;
  Graph[0][2] = 4;
  Graph[0][3] = 0;
  Graph[0][4] = 0;
  Graph[0][5] = 0;
  Graph[0][6] = 0;

  Graph[1][0] = 4;
  Graph[1][1] = 0;
  Graph[1][2] = 2;
  Graph[1][3] = 0;
  Graph[1][4] = 0;
  Graph[1][5] = 0;
  Graph[1][6] = 0;

  Graph[2][0] = 4;
  Graph[2][1] = 2;
  Graph[2][2] = 0;
  Graph[2][3] = 3;
  Graph[2][4] = 4;
  Graph[2][5] = 0;
  Graph[2][6] = 0;

  Graph[3][0] = 0;
  Graph[3][1] = 0;
  Graph[3][2] = 3;
  Graph[3][3] = 0;
  Graph[3][4] = 3;
  Graph[3][5] = 0;
  Graph[3][6] = 0;

  Graph[4][0] = 0;
  Graph[4][1] = 0;
  Graph[4][2] = 4;
  Graph[4][3] = 3;
  Graph[4][4] = 0;
  Graph[4][5] = 0;
  Graph[4][6] = 0;

  Graph[5][0] = 0;
  Graph[5][1] = 0;
  Graph[5][2] = 2;
  Graph[5][3] = 0;
  Graph[5][4] = 3;
  Graph[5][5] = 0;
  Graph[5][6] = 0;

  kruskalAlgo();
  print();
}
// Kruskal's algorithm in C++

#include <algorithm>
#include <iostream>
#include <vector>
using namespace std;

#define edge pair<int, int>

class Graph {
   private:
  vector<pair<int, edge> > G;  // graph
  vector<pair<int, edge> > T;  // mst
  int *parent;
  int V;  // number of vertices/nodes in graph
   public:
  Graph(int V);
  void AddWeightedEdge(int u, int v, int w);
  int find_set(int i);
  void union_set(int u, int v);
  void kruskal();
  void print();
};
Graph::Graph(int V) {
  parent = new int[V];

  //i 0 1 2 3 4 5
  //parent[i] 0 1 2 3 4 5
  for (int i = 0; i < V; i++)
    parent[i] = i;

  G.clear();
  T.clear();
}
void Graph::AddWeightedEdge(int u, int v, int w) {
  G.push_back(make_pair(w, edge(u, v)));
}
int Graph::find_set(int i) {
  // If i is the parent of itself
  if (i == parent[i])
    return i;
  else
    // Else if i is not the parent of itself
    // Then i is not the representative of his set,
    // so we recursively call Find on its parent
    return find_set(parent[i]);
}

void Graph::union_set(int u, int v) {
  parent[u] = parent[v];
}
void Graph::kruskal() {
  int i, uRep, vRep;
  sort(G.begin(), G.end());  // increasing weight
  for (i = 0; i < G.size(); i++) {
    uRep = find_set(G[i].second.first);
    vRep = find_set(G[i].second.second);
    if (uRep != vRep) {
      T.push_back(G[i]);  // add to tree
      union_set(uRep, vRep);
    }
  }
}
void Graph::print() {
  cout << "Edge :"
     << " Weight" << endl;
  for (int i = 0; i < T.size(); i++) {
    cout << T[i].second.first << " - " << T[i].second.second << " : "
       << T[i].first;
    cout << endl;
  }
}
int main() {
  Graph g(6);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(0, 1, 4);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(0, 2, 4);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(1, 2, 2);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(1, 0, 4);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(2, 0, 4);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(2, 1, 2);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(2, 3, 3);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(2, 5, 2);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(2, 4, 4);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(3, 2, 3);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(3, 4, 3);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(4, 2, 4);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(4, 3, 3);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(5, 2, 2);
  g.AddWeightedEdge(5, 4, 3);
  g.kruskal();
  g.print();
  return 0;
}

Kruskal's vs Prim's Algorithm

Prim's algorithm is another popular minimum spanning tree algorithm that uses a different logic to find the MST of a graph. Instead of starting from an edge, Prim's algorithm starts from a vertex and keeps adding lowest-weight edges which aren't in the tree, until all vertices have been covered.


Kruskal's Algorithm Complexity

The time complexity Of Kruskal's Algorithm is: O(E log E).


Kruskal's Algorithm Applications

  • In order to layout electrical wiring
  • In computer network (LAN connection)