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Mixing time of near-critical random graphs

  • Ding, Jian
  • Lubetzky, Eyal
  • Peres, Yuval
Published Article
Publication Date
May 23, 2012
Submission Date
Aug 26, 2009
DOI: 10.1214/11-AOP647
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Let $\mathcal{C}_1$ be the largest component of the Erd\H{o}s--R\'{e}nyi random graph $\mathcal{G}(n,p)$. The mixing time of random walk on $\mathcal {C}_1$ in the strictly supercritical regime, $p=c/n$ with fixed $c>1$, was shown to have order $\log^2n$ by Fountoulakis and Reed, and independently by Benjamini, Kozma and Wormald. In the critical window, $p=(1+\varepsilon)/n$ where $\lambda=\varepsilon^3n$ is bounded, Nachmias and Peres proved that the mixing time on $\mathcal{C}_1$ is of order $n$. However, it was unclear how to interpolate between these results, and estimate the mixing time as the giant component emerges from the critical window. Indeed, even the asymptotics of the diameter of $\mathcal{C}_1$ in this regime were only recently obtained by Riordan and Wormald, as well as the present authors and Kim. In this paper, we show that for $p=(1+\varepsilon)/n$ with $\lambda=\varepsilon^3n\to\infty$ and $\lambda=o(n)$, the mixing time on $\mathcal{C}_1$ is with high probability of order $(n/\lambda)\log^2\lambda$. In addition, we show that this is the order of the largest mixing time over all components, both in the slightly supercritical and in the slightly subcritical regime [i.e., $p=(1-\varepsilon)/n$ with $\lambda$ as above].

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