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An introduction to exponential random graph (p*) models for social networks.
 Social Networks,
, 2007
"... Abstract This article provides an introductory summary to the formulation and application of exponential random graph models for social networks. The possible ties among nodes of a network are regarded as random variables, and assumptions about dependencies among these random tie variables determin ..."
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Cited by 195 (4 self)
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Abstract This article provides an introductory summary to the formulation and application of exponential random graph models for social networks. The possible ties among nodes of a network are regarded as random variables, and assumptions about dependencies among these random tie variables determine the general form of the exponential random graph model for the network. Examples of different dependence assumptions and their associated models are given, including Bernoulli, dyadindependent and Markov random graph models. The incorporation of actor attributes in social selection models is also reviewed. Newer, more complex dependence assumptions are briefly outlined.
Recent developments in exponential random graph (p*) models for social networks
 SOCIAL NETWORKS
, 2006
"... This article reviews new specifications for exponential random graph models proposed by Snijders, Pattison, Robins & Handcock (2006) and demonstrates their improvement over homogeneous Markov random graph models in fitting empirical network data. Not only do the new specifications show improve ..."
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Cited by 119 (15 self)
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This article reviews new specifications for exponential random graph models proposed by Snijders, Pattison, Robins & Handcock (2006) and demonstrates their improvement over homogeneous Markov random graph models in fitting empirical network data. Not only do the new specifications show improvements in goodness of fit for various data sets, they also help to avoid the problem of neardegeneracy that often afflicts the fitting of Markov random graph models in practice, particularly to network data exhibiting high levels of transitivity. The inclusion of a new higher order transitivity statistic allows estimation of parameters of exponential graph models for many (but not all) cases where it is impossible to estimate parameters of homogeneous Markov graph models. The new specifications were used to model a large number of classical smallscale network data sets and showed a dramatically better performance than Markov graph models. We also review three current programs for obtaining maximum likelihood estimates of model parameters and we compare these Monte Carlo maximum likelihood estimates with less accurate pseudolikelihood estimates. Finally we discuss whether homogeneous Markov random graph models may be superseded by the new specifications, and how additional elaborations may further improve model performance.
NeighborhoodBased Models for Social Networks
 Sociological Methodology
, 2002
"... Harrison White and several anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on the work. We argue that social networks can be modeled as the outcome of processes that occur in overlapping local regions of the network, termed local social neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is conceived as a possible site of i ..."
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Cited by 100 (10 self)
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Harrison White and several anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on the work. We argue that social networks can be modeled as the outcome of processes that occur in overlapping local regions of the network, termed local social neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is conceived as a possible site of interaction and corresponds to a subset of possible network ties. In this paper, we discuss hypotheses about the form of these neighborhoods, and we present two new and theoretically plausible ways in which neighborhoodbased models for networks can be constructed. In the first, we introduce the notion of a setting structure, a directly hypothesized (or observed) set of exogenous constraints on possible neighborhood forms. In the second, we propose higherorder neighborhoods that are generated, in part, by the outcome of interactive network processes themselves. Applications of both approaches to model construction are presented, and the developments are considered within a general conceptual framework of locale for social networks. We show how assumptions about neighborhoods can be cast within a hierarchy of increasingly complex models; these models represent a progressively greater capacity for network processes to “reach ” across a network through long cycles or semipaths. We argue that this class of models holds new promise for the development of empirically plausible models for networks and networkbased processes. 2 1.
Assessing Degeneracy in Statistical Models of Social Networks
 Journal of the American Statistical Association
, 2003
"... discussions. This paper presents recent advances in the statistical modeling of random graphs that have an impact on the empirical study of social networks. Statistical exponential family models (Wasserman and Pattison 1996) are a generalization of the Markov random graph models introduced by Frank ..."
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Cited by 95 (16 self)
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discussions. This paper presents recent advances in the statistical modeling of random graphs that have an impact on the empirical study of social networks. Statistical exponential family models (Wasserman and Pattison 1996) are a generalization of the Markov random graph models introduced by Frank and Strauss (1986), which in turn are derived from developments in spatial statistics (Besag 1974). These models recognize the complex dependencies within relational data structures. A major barrier to the application of random graph models to social networks has been the lack of a sound statistical theory to evaluate model fit. This problem has at least three aspects: the specification of realistic models, the algorithmic difficulties of the inferential methods, and the assessment of the degree to which the graph structure produced by the models matches that of the data. We discuss these and related issues of the model degeneracy and inferential degeneracy for commonly used estimators.
Inference in Curved Exponential Family Models for Networks
 Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics
, 2006
"... Network data arise in a wide variety of applications. Although descriptive statistics for networks abound in the literature, the science of fitting statistical models to complex network data is still in its infancy. The models considered in this article are based on exponential families; therefore, ..."
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Cited by 80 (11 self)
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Network data arise in a wide variety of applications. Although descriptive statistics for networks abound in the literature, the science of fitting statistical models to complex network data is still in its infancy. The models considered in this article are based on exponential families; therefore, we refer to them as exponential random graph models (ERGMs). Although ERGMs are easy to postulate, maximum likelihood estimation of parameters in these models is very difficult. In this article, we first review the method of maximum likelihood estimation using Markov chain Monte Carlo in the context of fitting linear ERGMs. We then extend this methodology to the situation where the model comes from a curved exponential family. The curved exponential family methodology is applied to new specifications of ERGMs, proposed by Snijders et al. (2004), having nonlinear parameters to represent structural properties of networks such as transitivity and heterogeneity of degrees. We review the difficult topic of implementing likelihood ratio tests for these models, then apply all these modelfitting and testing techniques to the estimation of linear and nonlinear parameters for a collaboration network between partners in a New England law firm.
Clustering in Weighted Networks
 Social Networks
"... In recent years, researchers have investigated a growing number of weighted networks where ties are differentiated according to their strength or capacity. Yet, most network measures do not take weights into consideration, and thus do not fully capture the richness of the information contained in th ..."
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Cited by 53 (0 self)
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In recent years, researchers have investigated a growing number of weighted networks where ties are differentiated according to their strength or capacity. Yet, most network measures do not take weights into consideration, and thus do not fully capture the richness of the information contained in the data. In this paper, we focus on a measure originally defined for unweighted networks: the global clustering coefficient. We propose a generalization of this coefficient that retains the information encoded in the weights of ties. We then undertake a comparative assessment by applying the standard and generalized coefficients to a number of network datasets. Key words: clustering, transitivity, weighted networks We wish to give very special thanks to Filip Agneessens, Stephen Borgatti, Carter Butts, and Tom Snijders for their valuable feedback on earlier versions of this paper. We are also grateful to participants of the 3 rd Conference on Applications of Social Network
Estimating and understanding exponential random graph models
, 2011
"... We introduce a new method for estimating the parameters of exponential random graph models. The method is based on a largedeviations approximation to the normalizing constant shown to be consistent using theory developed by Chatterjee and Varadhan [15]. The theory explains a host of difficulties e ..."
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Cited by 50 (1 self)
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We introduce a new method for estimating the parameters of exponential random graph models. The method is based on a largedeviations approximation to the normalizing constant shown to be consistent using theory developed by Chatterjee and Varadhan [15]. The theory explains a host of difficulties encountered by applied workers: many distinct models have essentially the same MLE, rendering the problems “practically” illposed. We give the first rigorous proofs of “degeneracy” observed in these models. Here, almost all graphs have essentially no edges or are essentially complete. We supplement recent work of Bhamidi, Bresler and Sly [6] showing that for many models, the extra sufficient statistics are useless: most realizations look like the results of a simple Erdős–Rényi model. We also find classes of models where the limiting graphs differ from Erdős–Rényi graphs and begin to make the link to models where the natural parameters alternate in sign.
A sequential importance sampling algorithm for generating random graphs with prescribed degrees
, 2006
"... Random graphs with a given degree sequence are a useful model capturing several features absent in the classical ErdősRényi model, such as dependent edges and nonbinomial degrees. In this paper, we use a characterization due to Erdős and Gallai to develop a sequential algorithm for generating a ra ..."
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Cited by 48 (1 self)
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Random graphs with a given degree sequence are a useful model capturing several features absent in the classical ErdősRényi model, such as dependent edges and nonbinomial degrees. In this paper, we use a characterization due to Erdős and Gallai to develop a sequential algorithm for generating a random labeled graph with a given degree sequence. The algorithm is easy to implement and allows surprisingly efficient sequential importance sampling. Applications are given, including simulating a biological network and estimating the number of graphs with a given degree sequence.
Networks formed from interdependent networks
 PHYS
, 2011
"... ... obtained by analysing isolated networks, many realworld networks do in fact interact with and depend on other networks. The set of extensive results for the limiting case of noninteracting networks holds only to the extent that ignoring the presence of other networks can be justified. Recently ..."
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Cited by 45 (6 self)
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... obtained by analysing isolated networks, many realworld networks do in fact interact with and depend on other networks. The set of extensive results for the limiting case of noninteracting networks holds only to the extent that ignoring the presence of other networks can be justified. Recently, an analytical framework for studying the percolation properties of interacting networks has been developed. Here we review this framework and the results obtained so far for connectivity properties of ‘networks of networks’ formed by interdependent random networks.