Topologies In Computer Networks Computer Science Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In terms of Computer network the word topology refers to the way the computer system elements are interconnected with each other and how the flow of data is represented in between the nodes. The physical topology refers to the way with which the workstations are connected to one or more network via cables which transmit data. Basically it deals with the physical structure of the network. The logical topology deals with the way with which the data is flowing over a network. This can be dynamically configured with the help of devices like routers.

In this type of topology one main cable is used and it is referred to as the network backbone and it is this cable where all devices on the network get connected. When the nodes starts to communicate the device which initiates the sending of the message broadcast the same message to each and every node and only the stated node whose IP gets matched with the IP mentioned in the broadcast message can receives the message, thus, the other nodes drops the broadcast message.

In this topology every node in a network is simultaneously connected to each other; the first node and the last node also needs to be connected forming a loop. The nodes lying in between the source and the destination node acts as a repeater for forwarding messages. There are two forms of ring topology; one is unidirectional where each node are connected and the message flowing is in counter/clock wise direction and next one is bi-directional where each node is connected using two cables in between each node. Each node has to capture a token which is initially generated when the network is established. The node which wants to send data captures that free token and makes it a busy token disabling other node that are trying to transmit data at the same instance. The other node can only transmit data when the busy token is made free and this is possible only when the source node has completed the transferring of data to the desired node.


Installation of node is easy.

Link failure can be easily identified.

Each node has equal possibility to transfer its data to the intended destination and no nodes have the ability to dominate the network.

In the bi-directional ring network, even if one node gets offline the network gets shunted to an alternate path by using a secondary ring, thus enabling network connection in the entire network even if there has occurred connection error in between any two nodes in the network.


The network performance decrease with each node being added in the network.

If any one of the node in the network fails, the network ceases.

Identifying the source of the problem in the network is very difficult.

Adding or removing of any component disrupts the whole network.

3. Star Topology:

In this topology all nodes needs to be connected to a top level node. This top level node can be a computer, switch or a common connection point. The top level node has the ability to either broadcast the message sent from the source to each and every node and sub ordinate node or if the top level device has high fidelity then it can send the message from the source directly to the desired node. This configuration helps to reduce the delay in messaging between each node.

Fig. Star Topology


There is no disruption in the network even if there is connection failure in between the top level node and sub-ordinate node.

The problem in the node can be easily located logically and thus is easy to troubleshooting.

Expansion of the network is easy due to its simple format.


The entire network totally depends upon the process of the top level node.

The network may slow down if there are many nodes and the cabling is long.

4. Mesh topology:

In this kind of topology every node is connected to each other and each node acts as a router in the network. Thus this type of topology is best suited when traffic volume between the nodes is large.


The source node finds the best route to deliver the message from source to destination based upon the connectivity, speed, and pending node tasks.

Expanding the network is easy.


The installation cost to set up a network is high.

Every node is required to have a routing algorithm for path computation.

Troubleshooting the problem in the network is tough.


I would prefer the star topology for the network since it is more easy to install and if you have to extend the number of network you can easily do so without disrupting the current network.

Answer For the 2nd number Question:


A micro computer is a computer which has a microprocessor embedded in its central processing unit.

Mainly it serves only a single user

It is a computer with generally every specification of basic feature installed.

More user friendly and space friendly due to which it is quite popular for home users.

Application of microcomputers depends upon the system resources:

for gaming

for programming

data entry



It is a midsize computer capable of multiprocessing.

It is a computer which can support simultaneously users up to 200.

The user access the minicomputer via terminals which have no processing power.

It is a computer which lies in between the age of mainframe computer and microcomputers.

It has a size of a regular refrigerator and having less memory than a mainframe computer.

Applications of minicomputer:

It is used basically for calculating complex mathematical calculation.

It is used for supporting multiple users simultaneously.

Mainframe computer:

It is a large, expensive & powerful computer offering high speed data processing.

It is a computer having lots of processors memory and channels.

It is capable of providing enormous throughput.

It is super reliable because a lot of circuitry is designed to detect and correct errors and its mean time between failures (MTBF) is up to 20 yrs.

It is capable of supporting thousands of users simultaneously.

It is used in large organization.

Application includes:

It is used for application such as payroll computation, accounting, business transactions, information retrieval, and airline seat reservations.

It is used in scientific research works.

It is used as a web-server.


It is an extremely powerful and high performance driven computer used for performing a specified task.

It is a computer having maximum number of processors.

Computer having maximum of technical possibilities.

Computer which can access to a very large memory.

Application include from field of:










a personal computer that is portable due to built in display and keyboard.

It uses the same operating system and software applications as regular big size PC.

Small in size and lighter in weight.

It can incorporate wide ranges of modern technologies.

Contains a backup of power supply in the form of battery allowing users to use at anytime even if there is a power failure.


for presentation

for gaming

mobile users