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  1. Abstract

    Many applications require randomly sampling bipartite graphs with fixed degrees or randomly sampling incidence matrices with fixed row and column sums. Although several sampling algorithms exist, the ‘curveball’ algorithm is the most efficient with an asymptotic time complexity of $O(n~log~n)$ and has been proven to sample uniformly at random. In this article, we introduce the ‘fastball’ algorithm, which adopts a similar approach but has an asymptotic time complexity of $O(n)$. We show that a C$\texttt{++}$ implementation of fastball randomly samples large bipartite graphs with fixed degrees faster than curveball, and illustrate the value of this faster algorithm in the context of the fixed degree sequence model for backbone extraction.

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  2. Abstract Shared memberships, social statuses, beliefs, and places can facilitate the formation of social ties. Two-mode projections provide a method for transforming two-mode data on individuals’ memberships in such groups into a one-mode network of their possible social ties. In this paper, I explore the opposite process: how social ties can facilitate the formation of groups, and how a two-mode network can be generated from a one-mode network. Drawing on theories of team formation, club joining, and organization recruitment, I propose three models that describe how such groups might emerge from the relationships in a social network. I show that these models can be used to generate two-mode networks that have characteristics commonly observed in empirical two-mode social networks and that they encode features of the one-mode networks from which they were generated. I conclude by discussing these models’ limitations and future directions for theory and methods concerning group formation. 
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  3. Abstract Political network data can often be challenging to collect and clean for analysis. This article demonstrates how the incidentally and backbone packages for R can be used together to construct networks among legislators in the US Congress. These networks can be customized to focus on a specific chamber (Senate or House of Representatives), session (2003 to present), legislation type (bills and resolutions), and policy area (32 topics). Four detailed examples with replicable code are presented to illustrate the types of networks and types of insights that can be obtained using these tools. 
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