Statistical Network Analysis with Bergm

Alberto Caimo, Lampros Bouranis, Robert Krause, Nial Friel

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Recent advances in computational methods for intractable models have made network data increasingly amenable to statistical analysis. Exponential random graph models (ERGMs) emerged as one of the main families of models capable of capturing the complex dependence structure of network data in a wide range of applied contexts. The Bergm package for R has become a popular package to carry out Bayesian parameter inference, missing data imputation, model selection and goodness-of-fit diagnostics for ERGMs. Over the last few years, the package has been considerably improved in terms of efficiency by adopting some of the state-of-the-art Bayesian computational methods for doublyintractable distributions. Recently, version 5 of the package has been made available on CRAN having undergone a substantial makeover, which has made it more accessible and easy to use for practitioners. New functions include data augmentation procedures based on the approximate exchange algorithm for dealing with missing data, adjusted pseudolikelihood and pseudo-posterior procedures, which allow for fast approximate inference of the ERGM parameter posterior and model evidence for networks on several thousands nodes.

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