The densest subgraph problem in sparse random graphs

Venkat Anantharam, Justin Salez

We determine the asymptotic behavior of the maximum subgraph density of large random graphs with a prescribed degree sequence. The result applies in particular to the Erd\H{o}s-R\'{e}nyi model, where it settles a conjecture of Hajek [IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory 36 (1990) 1398-1414]. Our proof consists in extending the notion of balanced loads from finite graphs to their local weak limits, using unimodularity. This is a new illustration of the objective method described by Aldous and Steele [In Probability on Discrete Structures (2004) 1-72 Springer].

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