Sparse Maximum-Entropy Random Graphs with a Given Power-Law Degree Distribution

Pim van der Hoorn, Gabor Lippner, Dmitri Krioukov
Journal of Statistical Physics
173: 806
October 6, 2017


Even though power-law or close-to-power-law degree distributions are ubiquitously observed in a great variety of large real networks, the mathematically satisfactory treatment of random power-law graphs satisfying basic statistical requirements of realism is still lacking. These requirements are: sparsity, exchangeability, projectivity, and unbiasedness. The last requirement states that entropy of the graph ensemble must be maximized under the degree distribution constraints. Here we prove that the hypersoft configuration model, belonging to the class of random graphs with latent hyperparameters, also known as inhomogeneous random graphs or W-random graphs, is an ensemble of random power-law graphs that are sparse, unbiased, and either exchangeable or projective. The proof of their unbiasedness relies on generalized graphons, and on mapping the problem of maximization of the normalized Gibbs entropy of a random graph ensemble, to the graphon entropy maximization problem, showing that the two entropies converge to each other in the large-graph limit.

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