ergm 4.0: New features and improvements

06/09/2021
by   Pavel N. Krivitsky, et al.
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The ergm package supports the statistical analysis and simulation of network data. It anchors the statnet suite of packages for network analysis in R introduced in a special issue in Journal of Statistical Software in 2008. This article provides an overview of the functionality and performance improvements in the 2021 ergm 4.0 release. These include more flexible handling of nodal covariates, operator terms that extend and simplify model specification, new models for networks with valued edges, improved handling of constraints on the sample space of networks, performance enhancements to the Markov chain Monte Carlo and maximum likelihood estimation algorithms, broader and faster searching for networks with certain target statistics using simulated annealing, and estimation with missing edge data. We also identify the new packages in the statnet suite that extend ergm's functionality to other network data types and structural features, and the robust set of online resources that support the statnet development process and applications.

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