A Constructing and Sampling Graphs with a Prescribed Joint Degree Distribution

Abstract

One of the most influential recent results in network analysis is that many natural networks exhibit a power-law or log-normal degree distribution. This has inspired numerous generative models that match this property. However, more recent work has shown that while these generative models do have the right degree distribution, they are not good models for real life networks due to their differences on other important metrics like conductance. We believe this is, in part, because many of these real-world networks have very different joint degree distributions, i.e. the probability that a randomly selected edge will be between nodes of degree k and l. Assortativity is a sufficient statistic of the joint degree distribution, and it has been previously noted that social networks tend to be assortative, while biological and technological networks tend to be disassortative. We suggest understanding the relationship between network structure and the joint degree distribution of graphs is an interesting avenue of further research. An important tool for such studies are algorithms that can generate random instances of graphs with the same joint degree distribution. This is the main topic of this paper and we study the problem from both a theoretical and practical perspective. We provide an algorithm for constructing simple graphs from a given joint degree distribution, and a Monte Carlo Markov Chain method for sampling them. We also show that the state space of simple graphs with a fixed degree distribution is connected via end point switches. We empirically evaluate the mixing time of this Markov Chain by using experiments based on the autocorrelation of each edge. These experiments show that our Markov Chain mixes quickly on these real graphs, allowing for utilization of our techniques in practice.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Stanton2011ACA, title={A Constructing and Sampling Graphs with a Prescribed Joint Degree Distribution}, author={Isabelle Stanton and Ali Pinar}, year={2011} }