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Maximum Entropy Models of Shortest Path and Outbreak Distributions in Networks

Christian Bauckhage; Kristian Kersting; Fabian Hadiji
In: Computing Research Repository eprint Journal (CoRR), Vol. abs/1501.04232, Pages 0-10, arXiv, 2015.


Properties of networks are often characterized in terms of features such as node degree distributions, average path lengths, diameters, or clustering coefficients. Here, we study shortest path length distributions. On the one hand, average as well as maximum distances can be determined therefrom; on the other hand, they are closely related to the dynamics of network spreading processes. Because of the combinatorial nature of networks, we apply maximum entropy arguments to derive a general, physically plausible model. In particular, we establish the generalized Gamma distribution as a continuous characterization of shortest path length histograms of networks or arbitrary topology. Experimental evaluations corroborate our theoretical results.

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