Critical percolation on scale-free random graphs: New universality class for the configuration model

Souvik Dhara, Remco Van Der Hofstad, Johan S.H. Van Leeuwaarden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we study the critical behavior of percolation on a configuration model with degree distribution satisfying an infinite second-moment condition, which includes power-law degrees with exponent τ∈(2,3). It is well known that, in this regime, many canonical random graph models, such as the configuration model, are robust in the sense that the giant component is not destroyed when the percolation probability stays bounded away from zero. Thus, the critical behavior is observed when the percolation probability tends to zero with the network size, despite of the fact that the average degree remains bounded. In this paper, we initiate the study of critical random graphs in the infinite second-moment regime by identifying the critical window for the configuration model. We prove scaling limits for component sizes and surplus edges, and show that the maximum diameter the critical components is of order logn, which contrasts with the previous universality classes arising in the literature. This introduces a third and novel universality class for the critical behavior of percolation on random networks, that is not covered by the multiplicative coalescent framework due to Aldous and Limic (Electron J Probab 3(3):1–59, 1998). We also prove concentration of the component sizes outside the critical window, and that a unique, complex giant component emerges after the critical window. This completes the picture for the percolation phase transition on the configuration model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-171
JournalCommunications in Mathematical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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