Network Diagrams show how things are interconnected through the use of nodes/vertices and link lines to represent their connections. They illuminate the type of relationships between a group of entities through circles drawn as nodes joined by simple lines to represent links between nodes. Also popular as Network Graph, Network Map, Node-Link Diagram, these charts are ideal for visualizing social networks, corporate structures or any other network of relationships.
What: Discover Interconnections
Why: Determine components of your network and understand interrelationships
History of Network Diagram
Node–link diagrams trace back to 13th-century work of Ramon Llull, who drew diagrams of this type in order to analyze all pairwise combinations among sets of metaphysical concepts. However, the basic idea of graphs was first introduced in the 18th century by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, where his attempts & eventual solution to the famous Königsberg bridge problem are commonly quoted as the origin of graph theory. With the rise of the Internet and the growth in digital, networks have become a subject of significant interest across a variety of disciplines.
History of Network Diagram
Node–link diagrams trace back to 13th-century work of Ramon Llull, who drew diagrams of this type in order to analyze all pairwise combinations among sets of metaphysical concepts. However, the basic idea of graphs was first introduced in the 18th century by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, where his attempts & eveWhen to Use a Network Diagram?ntual solution to the famous Königsberg bridge problem are commonly quoted as the origin of graph theory. With the rise of the Internet and the growth in digital, networks have become a subject of significant interest across a variety of disciplines.
When to Use a Network Diagram?
1When you need to visualize interdependencies of activities
Use Network diagrams to visualize interdependencies of activities, predecessors, and successors of each activity etc. Since activities can be displayed in a sequence, it can be a useful visualization during the planning and organization stages of a project. Network diagram will be useful during project execution as well since it is a snapshot of the project activities tied with the dependencies.
2Decipher the structure of the network and troubleshoot
Use network diagrams to map out connected systems, and interpret the structure of a network by looking for any clustering of the nodes, understanding how densely nodes are connected or by how the diagram layout is arranged. The vivid display of network nodes can highlight non-trivial data discrepancies that could otherwise be overlooked hence Network Diagrams could be used to troubleshoot and report network problems.
3Compare the node relationships in a network on other parameters
Use Network diagrams to determine and compare the weight of interrelationships by creating additional variables to be visualized, for example, by making the node size or link stroke weight proportion to an assigned value. Adding information to the node Network diagrams creates an opportunity to add more insight to the graphic by customizing the color, the shape or the size of each node according to other variables.
Types of Network Diagram
1. Undirected Unweighted Network Diagrams
These display only the connections between entities. They are connected but no direction and no weight is added in the representation.
2. Undirected Weighted Network Diagrams
These display the connections between entities and also display the weights of linkages to specify a new parameter. Eg. weight can be the number of times a linkage/event happened.
3. Directed Unweighted Network Diagrams
These display the connections along with arrows to indicate the direction of interrelationships. However, linkages here do not have an added weight parameter.
4. Directed Weighted Network Diagrams
These diagrams represent connections, direction of the linkages and also visualize the weights. For eg. a Network diagram representing people migrating from a country to another: the weight is the number of people, the direction is from the source to the destination.
When Not to Use a Network Diagrams?
1When there is a large number of nodes, making networks overly complex
Do not use network diagrams when there are too many connections and no obvious pattern is represented, making the figure seem cluttered and unreadable. Network Diagrams have a limited data capacity and start to become hard to read when there are too many nodes and resemble “hairballs”. Having interactive network diagrams becomes crucial in such scenarios.
2When you need to manage schedules and resources and not just represent workflows
While network diagrams can effectively represent workflows, displaying relationships among all project activities.in sequential order by using linkages they are not efficient to capture project progress and manage schedules, resources, time and activities. In such a case using a Gantt chart is a better alternative.