Approximate Sampling and Counting of Graphs with Near-Regular Degree Intervals

Georgios Amanatidis, Pieter Kleer

Research output: Working paperOther research output


The approximate uniform sampling of graphs with a given degree sequence is a well-known, extensively studied problem in theoretical computer science and has significant applications, e.g., in the analysis of social networks. In this work we study an extension of the problem, where degree intervals are specified rather than a single degree sequence. We are interested in sampling and counting graphs whose degree sequences satisfy the degree interval constraints. A natural scenario where this problem arises is in hypothesis testing on social networks that are only partially observed.
In this work, we provide the first fully polynomial almost uniform sampler (FPAUS) as well as the first fully polynomial randomized approximation scheme (FPRAS) for sampling and counting, respectively, graphs with near-regular degree intervals, in which every node i has a degree from an interval not too far away from a given $d \in \N$. In order to design our FPAUS, we rely on various state-of-the-art tools from Markov chain theory and combinatorics. In particular, we provide the first non-trivial algorithmic application of a breakthrough result of Liebenau and Wormald (2017) regarding an asymptotic formula for the number of graphs with a given near-regular degree sequence. Furthermore, we also make use of the recent breakthrough of Anari et al. (2019) on sampling a base of a matroid under a strongly log-concave probability distribution.
As a more direct approach, we also study a natural Markov chain recently introduced by Rechner, Strowick and Müller-Hannemann (2018), based on three simple local operations: Switches, hinge flips, and additions/deletions of a single edge. We obtain the first theoretical results for this Markov chain by showing it is rapidly mixing for the case of near-regular degree intervals of size at most one.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIthaca
PublisherCornell University Library
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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