The term Network
has a number of different meanings, including
A wide variety of systems
components are called networks
. Specific examples include:
- transport networks,
- shipping routes and
- pipelines (gas, petroleum, water, sewage),
- electric circuits - a network of electrical components.
- electricity networks (electric power - generation, transmission and distribution.)
- social and/or business networks. (studied in, say, sociology)
- telecommunications networks
- computer networks, which transfer information between computers. (Specific configurations include star networks and grid networks.) The Internet is a large-scale computer network. Also, a website and the whole World Wide Web are networks of webpages, a link web.
- public switched telephone networks, which route audio signals from one telephone to another
- radio networks, which create and distribute radio programming
- television networks, which create and distribute television programming
- financial networks.
- network externality in economics
General-purpose mathematical models of network structures and associated algorithms have been developed in graph theory
Networks can be characterized in a number of different ways. For example, many networks are Scale-free networks, in which a few network nodes act as
"very connected" hubs.
Linked: The New Science of Networks, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Perseus Publishing, 2002. Hardcover Textbook. ISBN 0738206679.
Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks, Mark Buchanan, W. W. Norton, 2002, hardcover, 256 pages, ISBN 0393041530
Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, Duncan J. Watts, W. W. Norton, February, 2003, Hardcover: 448 pages. ISBN 0393041425
Tipping Point: How Little things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown, 2002, trade paperback, 304 pages, ISBN 0316346624
Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy, Edward B. Keller, Jonathan L. Berry, Douglas B. Reeves, Free Press, 2003, paperback, ISBN 0743227301
Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers, Alissa Quart, Perseus, 2002, hardcover, 256 pages, ISBN 0738206644
(bibliography derived from New York Times article, January 25, 2003 "Connect, They Say, Only Connect")
- Consumer studies using network theory: