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Description, Types And Structure Of Network Diagrams

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A network is an interconnection of multiple elements to give the desired result. A network could be of persons, devices, things, places, and things which would want to be connected at any point in time. The network could be as small as comprising of two to three people, or it could be larger as the World Wide Web. So, it may not be possible to depict or represent the network in a simple picture. Hence network diagrams are the ones which shorten the length but make one understand the network, its components and everything the person needs to know.

Since a network could be of anything, a network diagram hence involves a number of signs and symbols depending upon the network. These signs, symbols or the graphical representations could vary from the ones you could see in your daily life to the ones you may not know they exist. Depending upon what the diagram is for, the software available for making these allows one to pre-install or save certain diagrams as per the categories. So that, when it is the time to dram at eh final stage, you don’t have to start from scratch. You could just drag and drop at the desired destination.

So technically, a network diagram is a schematic display of project schedule activities and the interdependence between these activities. When they are made properly, they depict important characteristics of the desired process or business activity. This may be further used to analyze, and accordingly, adjust schedules.

Types of network diagrams:

There could be a variety of network diagrams depending upon the project and its requirements. Also, the interconnections need to be shown, so that also has to be taken into consideration. So generally, the ones used are as follows:

  1. Computer network diagram: as the name suggests, this diagram is used to represent all the interconnections and nodes between a big system using a computer and related hardware and technology.
  2. Neural network diagram: This is like applying the neural network of s human body practically in terms of hardware and their interconnections. It is a part of the artificial neural network and works similar to the interconnection our brain can make.
  3. Project network: This incorporates the interconnected network elements to be shown in a graphical network. It displays sequential order of the business activity on which the diagram is being made.
  4. Semantic network diagram: These diagrams represent the meaning of the network or in the sense of the elements, i.e., how do they make it up to the whole process. They consist of the link, nodes, etc.
  5. Sociogram: It a network representing the social connection between people as elements. It gets the interpersonal relations of a person in more vivid detail.

Network topology:

Now since we know a great deal of data on what network diagrams are, we must get to how they are structured. They aren’t this simple and random elements joined together simply. It has to be decided on which kind of arrangement would suit them to provide comprehensive understanding. Also, the understanding has to be in a logical way. So to make use of this fact, the technical term used is known by name Topology. There are a number of topologies available:

  1. Bus topology: This has got two endpoints, and each element is connected to only one cable. It allows for unidirectional data transmission.
  2. Ring topology: As per the name, the elements are arranged in a ring form. It also allows unidirectional data transmission but could be made bidirectional and will then be known as a dual ring topology.
  3. Star topology: In this type of arrangement, the elements are connected to a central one. The elements are not connected to each other, and each is individually connected to form a star shape.
  4. Mesh topology: here, every element is connected to each other elements of the network. So basically, this shows the interconnection of all the elements in one go.

How to make them?

First of all, we need to know about the topic and their elements on which the network diagram is to be made. Also, we need to understand the need for interconnection, i.e., choosing the right topology. Once we are through with these basics, we could choose either of the options of drawing the diagram, i.e., drawing traditionally using the pen and paper method or using a software. Nowadays, firms have come up with interesting software to make your drawing easy and less time-consuming. They have this pre-designed and pre-defined templates to get you going. Few steps to make them more appealing are:

  1. Select a network on which the diagram is to be made. Carefully list down all the required connections and element that would be required to make the diagram and give it a holistic look.
  2. Connect it: since you have chosen the right topology and the network, this step is a fairly easy one. This is to connect the elements in the desired topology through cables in either unidirectional, bidirectional or multidirectional manner.
  3. Name them: since a diagram consists of all the essential things, the end user may not be aware of all of such elements. So you must name the elements and the connections if required. This gives a proper and comprehensive way to give a complete look and understanding associated with your network diagram. You could give labels to all the elements used.
  4. Final changes: well even if you have drawn the diagram, it should appear neat and clean. It should give a comprehensive understanding in a clear view. So once you are done with connecting and labeling the elements, it is time to give your diagram some touch of aesthetic values. To arrange all the similar shapes and elements to one side or in a coherent manner. Highlight the interconnections using specific colors for specific lines. This way, the diagram should be recognizable at a glance. Ad without any confusion this should make one aware of the topic being talked about. And your network diagram is ready.

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