Zhang, P (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Theoret Phys, CAS Key Lab Theoret Phys, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China.
Decycling and dismantling of complex networks are underlying many important applications in network science. Recently these two closely related problems were tackled by several heuristic algorithms, simple and considerably sub-optimal, on the one hand, and involved and accurate message-passing ones that evaluate single-node marginal probabilities, on the other hand. In this paper we propose a simple and extremely fast algorithm, CoreHD, which recursively removes nodes of the highest degree from the 2-core of the network. CoreHD performs much better than all existing simple algorithms. When applied on real-world networks, it achieves equally good solutions as those obtained by the state-of-art iterative message-passing algorithms at greatly reduced computational cost, suggesting that CoreHD should be the algorithm of choice for many practical purposes.