2,001 research outputs found

    Generalized least squares can overcome the critical threshold in respondent-driven sampling

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    In order to sample marginalized and/or hard-to-reach populations, respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and similar techniques reach their participants via peer referral. Under a Markov model for RDS, previous research has shown that if the typical participant refers too many contacts, then the variance of common estimators does not decay like O(nβˆ’1)O(n^{-1}), where nn is the sample size. This implies that confidence intervals will be far wider than under a typical sampling design. Here we show that generalized least squares (GLS) can effectively reduce the variance of RDS estimates. In particular, a theoretical analysis indicates that the variance of the GLS estimator is O(nβˆ’1)O(n^{-1}). We then derive two classes of feasible GLS estimators. The first class is based upon a Degree Corrected Stochastic Blockmodel for the underlying social network. The second class is based upon a rank-two model. It might be of independent interest that in both model classes, the theoretical results show that it is possible to estimate the spectral properties of the population network from the sampled observations. Simulations on empirical social networks show that the feasible GLS (fGLS) estimators can have drastically smaller error and rarely increase the error. A diagnostic plot helps to identify where fGLS will aid estimation. The fGLS estimators continue to outperform standard estimators even when they are built from a misspecified model and when there is preferential recruitment.Comment: Submitte

    Spectral clustering and the high-dimensional stochastic blockmodel

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    Networks or graphs can easily represent a diverse set of data sources that are characterized by interacting units or actors. Social networks, representing people who communicate with each other, are one example. Communities or clusters of highly connected actors form an essential feature in the structure of several empirical networks. Spectral clustering is a popular and computationally feasible method to discover these communities. The stochastic blockmodel [Social Networks 5 (1983) 109--137] is a social network model with well-defined communities; each node is a member of one community. For a network generated from the Stochastic Blockmodel, we bound the number of nodes "misclustered" by spectral clustering. The asymptotic results in this paper are the first clustering results that allow the number of clusters in the model to grow with the number of nodes, hence the name high-dimensional. In order to study spectral clustering under the stochastic blockmodel, we first show that under the more general latent space model, the eigenvectors of the normalized graph Laplacian asymptotically converge to the eigenvectors of a "population" normalized graph Laplacian. Aside from the implication for spectral clustering, this provides insight into a graph visualization technique. Our method of studying the eigenvectors of random matrices is original.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/11-AOS887 the Annals of Statistics (http://www.imstat.org/aos/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org
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