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Network Analysis

  • By: Joe Weber
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Network analysis refers to the spatial analysis of transport (roads, railroads, airlines) or utility (pipeline, Internet) networks, and it has also been used for examining and optimizing hierarchical relationships within a set of places linked by flows. Network analysis abstracts the fundamental components of a network to depict the connections between places. A network is made up of nodes (locations, or origins and destinations of flows) and links (physical connections or flows between nodes). Loops may be present and allow multiple paths between a pair of nodes. A network may be planar, with nodes at the junctions of all links, or nonplanar, in which links may cross one another without an intersection. Depicting a network at the interurban level is generally straightforward, using cities, ports, ...

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