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Yen's algorithm for igraph, adapted from Wikipedia's pseudocode. The arguments are: graph: your igraph graph object (warning: the edge's id will change by using this function, so make a copy with gcopy if you want to keep them intact); source: source vertex; target: target vertex; num_k: number of shortest paths you want; weights: name of the edge attribute that contain each edge's weight (this parameter is a string)

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def path_cost(graph, path, weights=None):
pathcost = 0
for i in range(len(path)):
if i > 0:[i-1], _target=path[i])
if weights != None:
pathcost += edge[weights]
#just count the number of edges
pathcost += 1
return pathcost
def yen_igraph(graph, source, target, num_k, weights):
import queue
#Shortest path from the source to the target
A = [graph.get_shortest_paths(source, to=target, weights=weights, output="vpath")[0]]
A_costs = [path_cost(graph, A[0], weights)]
#Initialize the heap to store the potential kth shortest path
B = queue.PriorityQueue()
for k in range(1, num_k):
#The spur node ranges from the first node to the next to last node in the shortest path
for i in range(len(A[k-1])-1):
#Spur node is retrieved from the previous k-shortest path, k − 1
spurNode = A[k-1][i]
#The sequence of nodes from the source to the spur node of the previous k-shortest path
rootPath = A[k-1][:i]
#We store the removed edges
removed_edges = []
for path in A:
if len(path) - 1 > i and rootPath == path[:i]:
#Remove the links that are part of the previous shortest paths which share the same root path
edge =[i], _target=path[i+1])
if len(edge) == 0:
continue #edge already deleted
edge = edge[0]
removed_edges.append((path[i], path[i+1], edge.attributes()))
#Calculate the spur path from the spur node to the sink
spurPath = graph.get_shortest_paths(spurNode, to=target, weights=weights, output="vpath")[0]
if len(spurPath) > 0:
#Entire path is made up of the root path and spur path
totalPath = rootPath + spurPath
totalPathCost = path_cost(graph, totalPath, weights)
#Add the potential k-shortest path to the heap
B.put((totalPathCost, totalPath))
#Add back the edges that were removed from the graph
for removed_edge in removed_edges:
node_start, node_end, cost = removed_edge
graph.add_edge(node_start, node_end)
edge =, _target=node_end)[0]
#Sort the potential k-shortest paths by cost
#B is already sorted
#Add the lowest cost path becomes the k-shortest path.
while True:
cost_, path_ = B.get()
if path_ not in A:
#We found a new path to add
return A, A_costs

Thanks for sharing. You forgot to include your path_cost() function, so I just wrote my own.


Hey, sorry for forgetting it, just added it!

Perhaps a note to anyone who might start hunting for infinite loops, B.get() blocks if B is empty, which happens if num_k is greater than the total number of paths in the graph.
Thanks a lot, this was very helpful.

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