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network

network, social network, network theory The term network refers to individuals (or more rarely collectivities and roles) who are linked together by one or more social relationships, thus forming a social network. Examples of relationship links include kinship, communication, friendship, authority, and sexual contact. When individuals are represented as a point and links as a line, use can be made of graph theory as a model. The pairwise choices or relationship links can be arrayed in a table (called a sociomatrix) and the network drawn from this information is often referred to as a sociogram, which features centrally in sociometry, an elaborate but simple form of analysis pioneered by J. L. Moreno in the 1940s. The mathematical basis of network analysis is graph theory.

Initially, much work concentrated on small-group and institutional structures, describing individual points (stars and isolates) and forms of cohesion (clique-detection), but after the 1950s network analysis concentrated more on structural characteristics, such as ‘bridges’ (persons who formed the only link between strongly connected groups), ‘balance’ (the tendency of highly cohesive groups to polarize), and more refined definitions of cliques. In the 1960s and beyond, the analysis of social networks was strongly influenced by mathematical sociology under Harrison White, became much more highly theoretical, and now supports its own journal (Social Networks). White was the focus of a highly productive and innovative group of students and staff at Harvard University in the 1960s and 1970s, and is best known for insisting upon social rather than individualistic concepts (for example, movement of clergy vacancies versus movement of individual clergymen), and for developing block-modelling techniques for studying ‘structural equivalence’ of network members sharing the same pattern of contacts.

Three main foci typify work in the area of network analyses. Egocentric networks are rooted in a single individual and depend usually on that individual's report of his or her network (such as, for example, E. Bott's study of the effect of overlap between spouse's networks, Family and Social Network, 1957). Systemic networks are constructed from all the participants in the network, and concentrate on the structure of the network itself, as in Mark Granovetter's identification of the importance of the ‘weak tie’ in obtaining new job information—whereby new information comes not from those who are in one's close circle of interaction, but from those in one's network who have access to different sources (see Getting a Job, 1974). Finally, diffusion studies explore the shape and form of flows within the networks, as in the processes of innovation, rumour, or epidemiological diffusion. For an overview of the field as a whole see Peter V. Marsden and and Nan Lin ( eds.) , Social Structure and Network Analysis (1982
). See also BALANCE THEORY.

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network

net·work / ˈnetˌwərk/ • n. 1. an arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines. ∎  a complex system of roads, railroads, or other transportation routes: a network of railroads. 2. a group or system of interconnected people or things: a trade network. ∎  a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes: a support network. ∎  a group of broadcasting stations that connect for the simultaneous broadcast of a program: the introduction of a second TV network | [as adj.] network television. ∎  a number of interconnected computers, machines, or operations: specialized computers that manage multiple outside connections to a network | a local cellular phone network. ∎  a system of connected electrical conductors. • v. [tr.] connect as or operate with a network: the stock exchanges have proven to be resourceful in networking these deals. ∎  link (machines, esp. computers) to operate interactively: [as adj.] (networked) networked workstations. ∎  [intr.] [often as n.] (networking) interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, esp. to further one's career: the skills of networking, bargaining, and negotiation. DERIVATIVES: net·work·a·ble adj.

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network

network, in computing, two or more computers connected for the purpose of routing, managing, and storing rapidly changing data. A local area network (LAN), which is restricted by distances of up to one mile, and a metropolitan area network (MAN), which is restricted to distances of up to 60 miles, connect personal computers and workstations (each called a node) over dedicated, private communications links. A wide area network (WAN) connects large numbers of nodes over long-distance communications links, such as common carrier telephone lines, over distances ranging from that between major metropolitan centers to that between continents. An internet is a connection between networks. The Internet is a WAN that connects thousands of disparate networks in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, providing global communication between nodes on government, educational, and industrial networks. Networks allow for resource sharing (e.g., multiple computers sharing one printer), data sharing, and communication or data exchange (e.g., electronic mail).

See W. Stallings, ed., Advances in Local and Metropolitan Area Networks (1994); F. Halsall, Data Communications, Computer Networks, and Open Systems (4th ed. 1996); R. Cahn, Wide Area Network Design: Concepts and Tools for Optimization (1998); T. Parnell and C. Null, Network Administrator's Reference (1999).

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network

network
1. In communications, a rather loosely defined term applied to a system that consists of terminals, nodes, and interconnection media that can include lines or trunks, satellites, microwave, medium- and long-wave radio, etc. In general, a network is a collection of resources used to establish and switch communication paths between its terminals. A given network may be classified as a local area network, a metropolitan area network, or a wide area network, the differences lying as much in their style of organization as in their technology or geographical or physical size. Networks and servers have now largely replaced centralized mainframe computers in most applications. See also network architecture, packet switching, message switching, network delay.

2. In electronic circuitry, an interconnection of various electrical elements. A passive network contains no active (amplifying or switching) elements such as transistors; a linear network is a passive network that contains no nonlinear elements such as diodes.

3. (net) In mathematics, a connected directed graph that contains no cycles. Interconnections involving objects such as telephones, logic gates, or computers could be represented using a connected but not necessarily directed graph.

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Network

Network

collection or arrangement of items to resemble a net; anything reticulated or decussatedJohnson, 1755.

Examples: network of brass, 1560; of spiders broods, 1781; of bundles, 1884; of canals; of fictions, 1856; of islands, 1839; of leaves, 1816; of lines; of pearls, 1881; of property, 1816; of railways; of ribbons, 1712; of rivers; of roads; of ropes, 1748; of trenches, 1871; of veins, 1729; of waters, 1857; of wrinkles.

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network

networkberk, berserk, Burke, cirque, dirk, Dunkirk, erk, irk, jerk, kirk, lurk, mirk, murk, outwork, perk, quirk, shirk, smirk, stirk, Turk, work •Selkirk • Falkirk • Atatürk •patchwork • handwork • waxwork •artwork, part-work •craftwork • headwork • legwork •metalwork • guesswork •fretwork, network •breastwork • daywork • spadework •framework • brainwork •casework, lacework •paintwork • beadwork • fieldwork •needlework • teamwork • piecework •brickwork • handiwork • bodywork •basketwork • donkeywork • telework •clockwork • knotwork • formwork •coursework • falsework •groundwork • housework •coachwork • roadwork • homework •stonework • woodwork • bookwork •footwork • brushwork • firework •ironwork • underwork • wickerwork •paperwork • openwork • camerawork •masterwork, plasterwork •earthwork

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