Asymptotic extremal combinatorics deals with questions that in the language of model theory can be re-stated as follows. For finite models M, N of an universal theory without constants and function symbols (like graphs, digraphs or hypergraphs), let p(M, N) be the probability that a randomly chosen sub-model of N with ∣M∣ elements is isomorphic to M. Which asymptotic relations exist between the quantities p(M1,N),…, p(Mh,N), where M1,…, M1, are fixed “template” models and ∣N∣ grows to infinity?
In this paper we develop a formal calculus that captures many standard arguments in the area, both previously known and apparently new. We give the first application of this formalism by presenting a new simple proof of a result by Fisher about the minimal possible density of triangles in a graph with given edge density.
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