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Statistical Inference for Complex Networks Workshop, December 3-5, 2008, Santa Fe NM

Organizers: Aaron Clauset (SFI) and Cris Moore (UNM & SFI)

Jennifer Dunne (homepage)

Network models of food webs

Food webs describe the network of feeding (trophic) interactions among diverse co-occurring species in a particular habitat. An important area of research on food webs has been whether their observed structure, which appears complex, can emerge from simple rules or models. Several models that combine stochastic elements with simple link assignment rules have been proposed to generate and predict the network structure of empirical food webs. I will summarize the most prominent models, various approaches used to evaluate the fit between data and models, data issues, and open, interesting questions that could benefit from more rigorous applications of statistical inference.