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Tree topology: A network topology in which the

nodes are arranged as a tree. From a purely


topologic viewpoint, this resembles an
interconnection of star networks in that
individual peripheral nodes (i.e. leaves) are
required to transmit to and receive from one
other node only and are not required to act as
repeaters or regenerators. Unlike the star
network, the function of the central node may be
distributed.
As in the conventional star network, individual
nodes may thus still be isolated from the network
by a single-point failure of a transmission path to
the node. If a link connecting a leaf fails, that leaf
is isolated; if a connection to a non-leaf node
fails, an entire section of the network becomes
isolated from the rest.

Mesh topology: A network topology in which


there are at least two nodes with two or more
paths between them. A special kind of mesh,
limiting the number of hops between two nodes,
is a hypercube. The number of arbitrary forks in
mesh networks makes them more difficult to
design and implement, but their decentralized
nature makes them very useful.
A network topology is the pattern in which nodes (i.e.,
computers, printers, routers or other devices) are connected to
a local area network (LAN) or other network via links
(e.g., twisted pair copper wire cable or optical fiber cable).
There are four principal topologies used in LANs: bus, ring,
star and mesh. The most widely used of these is bus, because
it is employed by Ethernet, which is the dominant LAN
architecture. In a bus topology all devices are connected to a
central cable, called the bus or backbone. This topology is
relatively inexpensive and easy to install for small networks.
In a ring topology each device is connected directly to two
other devices, one on either side of it, to form a closed loop.
This topology is relatively expensive and difficult to install,
but it offers high bandwidth and can span large distances. A
variation is thetoken ring, in which signals travel in only one
direction around the loop, carried by a so-called token from
node to node.
In a star topology all devices are connected directly to a
central computer or server. Such networks are relatively easy
to install and manage, but bottlenecks can occur because all
data must pass through the central device.
The mesh topology can be either a full mesh or a partial
mesh. In the former, each computer is connected directly to
each of the others. In the latter, some computers are
connected to most of the others, and some are connected only
to those other nodes with which they exchange the most data.
The several basic network topologies can be combined in
various ways to form hybrid topologies, such as a ring-star
network or a tree network. The latter consists of two or more
star networks connected to a linear bus.
The word topology comes from the Greek
words topos meaning place and logos meaning study. It is a
description of any locality in terms of its layout. Topology is
a branch of mathematics concerned with properties of
geometric figures that are distorted without tearing or
bonding together.