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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2013 May;87(5):052130. Epub 2013 May 24.

Phase transitions in supercritical explosive percolation.

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  • 1School of Mathematical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Percolation describes the sudden emergence of large-scale connectivity as edges are added to a lattice or random network. In the Bohman-Frieze-Wormald model (BFW) of percolation, edges sampled from a random graph are considered individually and either added to the graph or rejected provided that the fraction of accepted edges is never smaller than a decreasing function with asymptotic value of α, a constant. The BFW process has been studied as a model system for investigating the underlying mechanisms leading to discontinuous phase transitions in percolation. Here we focus on the regime αε[0.6,0.95] where it is known that only one giant component, denoted C(1) , initially appears at the discontinuous phase transition. We show that at some point in the supercritical regime C(1) stops growing and eventually a second giant component, denoted C(2), emerges in a continuous percolation transition. The delay between the emergence of C(1) and C(2) and their asymptotic sizes both depend on the value of α and we establish by several techniques that there exists a bifurcation point α(c)=0.763±0.002. For αε[0.6,α(c)), C(1) stops growing the instant it emerges and the delay between the emergence of C(1) and C(2) decreases with increasing α. For αε(α(c),0.95], in contrast, C(1) continues growing into the supercritical regime and the delay between the emergence of C(1) and C(2) increases with increasing α. As we show, α(c) marks the minimal delay possible between the emergence of C(1) and C(2) (i.e., the smallest edge density for which C(2) can exist). We also establish many features of the continuous percolation of C(2) including scaling exponents and relations.

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