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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2005 Sep;72(3 Pt 2):036118. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Sampling properties of random graphs: the degree distribution.

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  • 1Centre for Bioinformatics, Division of Molecular Biosciences, Imperial College London, Wolfson Building, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom. m.stumpf@imperial.ac.uk


We discuss two sampling schemes for selecting random subnets from a network, random sampling and connectivity dependent sampling, and investigate how the degree distribution of a node in the network is affected by the two types of sampling. Here we derive a necessary and sufficient condition that guarantees that the degree distributions of the subnet and the true network belong to the same family of probability distributions. For completely random sampling of nodes we find that this condition is satisfied by classical random graphs; for the vast majority of networks this condition will, however, not be met. We furthermore discuss the case where the probability of sampling a node depends on the degree of a node and we find that even classical random graphs are no longer closed under this sampling regime. We conclude by relating the results to real Eschericia coli protein interaction network data.

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