Building stochastic blockmodels

Carolyn J. Anderson, Stanley Wasserman, Katherine Faust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature devoted to the construction of stochastic blockmodels is relatively rare compared to that of the deterministic variety. In this paper, a general definition of a stochastic blockmodel is given and a number of techniques for building such blockmodels are presented. In the statistical approach, the likelihood ratio statistic provides a natural index to evaluate the fit of the model to the data. The model itself consists of a set of actors partitioned into positions with respect to a definition of equivalence, and a representation based on estimated probabilities. The specific statistical model that is used to illustrate the techniques is p1, which was first introduced as a method for stochastic blockmodeling by Fienberg and Wasserman (1981), and developed by Holland et al. (1983) and Wasserman and Anderson (1987).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-161
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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