The Network Paradigm

In this video we look at what we call the network paradigm, a paradigm is the set of methods and assumptions underlying a particular scientific domain as such it constitutes a whole way seeing the world. We note that within systems whose components are relatively isolated we can focus our interest on the individual components within the system, by analyzing their properties we can gain an understanding of how the whole system works. But when systems become more connected we need to shift our focus to the dynamics and structure of the relations between them and this is what network theory is designed to do. We go on to discuss how connectivity has a very different kind of space to the three-dimensional Euclidean geometry we are used to which is the geometry of things or objects. The geometry of connectivity is what we call network topology and this topology stretches and bends our three-dimensional space around it. Networks represent a very organic type of structure that often emerges from the bottom up but also has some environmental constraints imposed upon it. Within network structures elements often have a high degree of autonomy but their environment also places some constraints on the development of connections and thus the system is often a product of this interaction between the elements and the limitations the environment places on the system.

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