ergm: A Package to Fit, Simulate and Diagnose Exponential-Family Models for Networks

David R. Hunter, Mark S. Handcock, Carter T. Butts, Steven M. Goodreau, Martina Morris

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We describe some of the capabilities of the ergm package and the statistical theory underlying it. This package contains tools for accomplishing three important, and inter-related, tasks involving exponential-family random graph models (ERGMs): estimation, simulation, and goodness of fit. More precisely, ergm has the capability of approximating a maximum likelihood estimator for an ERGM given a network data set; simulating new network data sets from a fitted ERGM using Markov chain Monte Carlo; and assessing how well a fitted ERGM does at capturing characteristics of a particular network data set.

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