# Publications

## Listing triangles in expected linear time on a class of power law graphs

Enumerating triangles (3-cycles) in graphs is a kernel operation for social network analysis. For example, many community detection methods depend upon finding common neighbors of two related entities. We consider Cohen's simple and elegant solution for listing triangles: give each node a 'bucket.' Place each edge into the bucket of its endpoint of lowest degree, breaking ties consistently. Each node then checks each pair of edges in its bucket, testing for the adjacency that would complete that triangle. Cohen presents an informal argument that his algorithm should run well on real graphs. We formalize this argument by providing an analysis for the expected running time on a class of random graphs, including power law graphs. We consider a rigorously defined method for generating a random simple graph, the erased configuration model (ECM). In the ECM each node draws a degree independently from a marginal degree distribution, endpoints pair randomly, and we erase self loops and multiedges. If the marginal degree distribution has a finite second moment, it follows immediately that Cohen's algorithm runs in expected linear time. Furthermore, it can still run in expected linear time even when the degree distribution has such a heavy tail that the second moment is not finite. We prove that Cohen's algorithm runs in expected linear time when the marginal degree distribution has finite 4/3 moment and no vertex has degree larger than {radical}n. In fact we give the precise asymptotic value of the expected number of edge pairs per bucket. A finite 4/3 moment is required; if it is unbounded, then so is the number of pairs. The marginal degree distribution of a power law graph has bounded 4/3 moment when its exponent {alpha} is more than 7/3. Thus for this class of power law graphs, with degree at most {radical}n, Cohen's algorithm runs in expected linear time. This is precisely the value of {alpha} for which the clustering coefficient tends to zero asymptotically, and it is in the range that is relevant for the degree distribution of the World-Wide Web.