*Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences*. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.

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## Network Topologies

The topology of a network is the geometric representation of all links and nodes of a network—the structure, consisting of transmission links and processing nodes, that provides communications connectivity between nodes in a network. A link is the physical transmission path that transfers data from one device to another. A node is a network addressable device.

Graph theory describes certain characteristics of a network topology such as the average node degree for robustness (average number of links terminating at a node in a network), network diameter for size (the longest/shortest path between any two nodes in a network), number of paths for complexity (total number of paths between all node pairs), and cutsets for flow (minimum number of removed links to partition a network). However, the most dominant characteristic of a network topology is its shape.

## Mesh, Star, Tree, Bus, Ring

The...

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