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Find Weakly Connected Components in a Directed Graph

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  • Last Updated : 28 Oct, 2021
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Weakly Connected Graph:

A directed graphG = (V, E)’ is weakly connected if the underlying undirected graph Ĝ is connected. 

The underlying undirected graph is the graph Ĝ = (V, Ê) where Ê represents the set of undirected edges that is obtained by removing the arrowheads from the directed edges and making them bidirectional in G.


The directed graph G above is weakly connected since its underlying undirected graph Ĝ is connected.

Weakly Connected Component:

Given a directed graph, a weakly connected component (WCC) is a subgraph of the original graph where all vertices are connected to each other by some path, ignoring the direction of edges.


In the above directed graph, there are two weakly connected components:

  • [0, 1, 2, 3]
  • [4, 5]

Algorithm to find Weakly Connected Component:

 It uses the algorithm to find connected components of an undirected graph.

  • Construct the underlying undirected graph of the given directed graph. 
  • Find all the connected components of the undirected graph. 
  • The connected components of the undirected graph will be the weakly connected components of the directed graph.


Below is the code of Weakly Connected Component which takes a directed graph DG as input and returns all the weakly connected components WCC of the input graph.


// Java Code for the above algorithm
import java.util.ArrayList;
class Graph {
    int vertices;
    ArrayList<ArrayList<Integer> > adjacencyList;
    public Graph(int vertices)
        this.vertices = vertices;
        adjacencyList = new ArrayList<>(vertices);
        for (int i = 0; i < this.vertices; i++)
            adjacencyList.add(new ArrayList<>());
    public void addEdge(int u, int v)
        // Use of noEdge(int, int)
        // prevents duplication of edges
        if (noEdge(u, v))
    // Returns true if there does NOT exist
    // any edge from u to v
    boolean noEdge(int u, int v)
        for (int destination : adjacencyList.get(u))
            if (destination == v)
                return false;
        return true;
class WCC {
    private final Graph directedGraph;
    public WCC(Graph directedGraph)
        this.directedGraph = directedGraph;
    // Finds all the connected components
    // of the given undirected graph
    private ArrayList<ArrayList<Integer> >
    connectedComponents(Graph undirectedGraph)
        ArrayList<ArrayList<Integer> > connectedComponents
            = new ArrayList<>();
        boolean[] isVisited
            = new boolean[undirectedGraph.vertices];
        for (int i = 0; i < undirectedGraph.vertices; i++) {
            if (!isVisited[i]) {
                ArrayList<Integer> component
                    = new ArrayList<>();
                findConnectedComponent(i, isVisited,
        return connectedComponents;
    // Finds a connected component
    // starting from source using DFS
    private void
    findConnectedComponent(int src, boolean[] isVisited,
                           ArrayList<Integer> component,
                           Graph undirectedGraph)
        isVisited[src] = true;
        for (int v :
            if (!isVisited[v])
                findConnectedComponent(v, isVisited,
    public ArrayList<ArrayList<Integer> >
        // Step 1: Construct the
        // underlying undirected graph
        Graph undirectedGraph
            = new Graph(directedGraph.vertices);
        for (int u = 0; u < directedGraph.vertices; u++) {
            for (int v :
                 directedGraph.adjacencyList.get(u)) {
                undirectedGraph.addEdge(u, v);
                undirectedGraph.addEdge(v, u);
        // Step 2: Find the connected components
        // of the undirected graph
        return connectedComponents(undirectedGraph);
public class WCCDemo {
    // Driver Code
    public static void main(String[] args)
        Graph directedGraph = new Graph(6);
        directedGraph.addEdge(0, 1);
        directedGraph.addEdge(0, 2);
        directedGraph.addEdge(3, 1);
        directedGraph.addEdge(3, 2);
        directedGraph.addEdge(4, 5);
        ArrayList<ArrayList<Integer> >
            = new WCC(directedGraph)
        int index = 1;
        for (ArrayList<Integer> component :
             weaklyConnectedComponents) {
            System.out.print("Component " 
                             + index++ + ": ");
            for (Integer i : component)
                System.out.print(i + " ");


Component 1: 0 1 3 2 
Component 2: 4 5 

Time complexity: O(V+E)

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