The Lower Tail of the Random Minimum Spanning Tree

  • Abraham D. Flaxman


Consider a complete graph $K_n$ where the edges have costs given by independent random variables, each distributed uniformly between 0 and 1. The cost of the minimum spanning tree in this graph is a random variable which has been the subject of much study. This note considers the large deviation probability of this random variable. Previous work has shown that the log-probability of deviation by $\varepsilon$ is $-\Omega(n)$, and that for the log-probability of $Z$ exceeding $\zeta(3)$ this bound is correct; $\log {\rm Pr}[Z \geq \zeta(3) + \varepsilon] = -\Theta(n)$. The purpose of this note is to provide a simple proof that the scaling of the lower tail is also linear, $\log {\rm Pr}[Z \leq \zeta(3) - \varepsilon] = -\Theta(n)$.

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