A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Networks

While people have been using the word “network” since the 15th century to describe a group of people, more recently its meaning has expanded. Today, networks have taken on a much broader definition that encompasses everything from social media sites like Facebook (a type of online social network) and LinkedIn (a type of professional network) to biological tissues like neurons in the brain (an example of an “organismal” or “biological” network). Whether we’re talking about computer systems or our own brains, networks are everywhere—and that’s why it’s important for us all to learn how they work!

Networks are everywhere.

Networks are everywhere. They’re present in all aspects of life, from the social to the technological, and even in nature. We’ll explore some examples of networks below.

  • Networks exist in nature. For example, think about how plants are connected by their roots to other plants through a network of underground roots called a mycorrhiza (literally “fungus-root”). This symbiotic relationship allows both organisms to benefit: The fungus gets nitrogen from its host plant while providing phosphorus and water; meanwhile, the plant receives nutrients from its fungal partner as well as protection against pathogens like fungi or bacteria that might otherwise damage its roots or leaves. This type of symbiotic relationship between two species–which biologists call mutualism–is quite common among plants but less common among animals because it requires close contact between individuals over long periods of time (years).

Networks come in many forms.

Networks come in many forms. They can be physical, digital or social. Networks are everywhere and they are complex and interconnected. Networks are dynamic and constantly changing, making them fragile as well.

Networks follow certain rules.

Networks are a way to model complex systems. Networks can be anything, but they always have nodes and edges. Nodes are the things …