Explosive Percolation in Random Networks

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Science  13 Mar 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5920, pp. 1453-1455
DOI: 10.1126/science.1167782

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Networks in which the formation of connections is governed by a random process often undergo a percolation transition, wherein around a critical point, the addition of a small number of connections causes a sizable fraction of the network to suddenly become linked together. Typically such transitions are continuous, so that the percentage of the network linked together tends to zero right above the transition point. Whether percolation transitions could be discontinuous has been an open question. Here, we show that incorporating a limited amount of choice in the classic Erdös-Rényi network formation model causes its percolation transition to become discontinuous.

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