The two-star model: exact solution in the sparse regime and condensation transition

Alessia Annibale, Owen Courtney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The two-star model is the simplest exponential random graph model that displays complex behavior, such as degeneracy and phase transition. Despite its importance, this model has been solved only in the regime of dense connectivity. In this work we solve the model in the finite connectivity regime, far more prevalent in real world networks. We show that the model undergoes a condensation transition from a liquid to a condensate phase along the critical line corresponding, in the ensemble parameters space, to the Erdös–Rényi (ER) graphs. In the fluid phase the model can produce graphs with a narrow degree statistics, ranging from regular to ER graphs, while in the condensed phase, the 'excess' degree heterogeneity condenses on a single site with degree ${\mathcal{O}}(\sqrt{N})$. This shows the unsuitability of the two-star model, in its standard definition, to produce arbitrary finitely connected graphs with degree heterogeneity higher than ER graphs and suggests that non-pathological variants of this model may be attained by softening the global constraint on the two-stars, while keeping the number of links hardly constrained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365001
Number of pages20
JournalJournal Of Physics A-Mathematical And Theoretical
Issue number36
Early online date13 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2015


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