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Network Analysis – Definition, Types & Methods

Dec 29, 2022

Network Analysis 

Let’s start with the introduction to network analysis. Electrical engineering and electronics both fall under the umbrella of network analysis. The connectivity of the electrical components is essentially what it is defined as. 

Many metrics can be determined with it, including the circuit’s voltage and current as they pass through the network’s components. The series values and parallel combinations are used to calculate the voltage and current supply. Depending on the combination we select, these connections are established in either series or parallel. Let’s understand the exact meaning of what is network analysis. The terms that are mentioned are listed below.


What is a network analysis?

The linking of numerous components in physical and electrical circuits is referred to as network analysis. The voltage and electric current going through the various electrical circuit components can be determined via network analysis. Engineers employ series and parallel methods to assess these circuits because the network contains several power sources. This is the basic definition of network analysis. 

Various circuits are deemed to have undergone analysis once all of the voltages and currents in their various arms have been identified. The two most popular methods for resolving the network are as follows:

  1. Direct Approach: The direct method can only be used to solve straightforward circuits. A direct method uses the circuit’s original configuration to calculate the various voltage and current values. Kirchoff’s law includes loop analysis, nodal analysis, and superposition theorems. 
  2. Network Reduction Method: This method can solve both simple and complex networks. The network reduction approach reduces the complexity of the circuit to enable quick calculations of many quantities.

What are unilateral and bilateral in network analysis?

As we started with the introduction to network analysis, it is important to understand these terms. The bilateral connection is a voltage and current connection. An inductor and capacitor are used in the circuit to allow current to flow in the same direction. The unilateral network, on the other hand, is defined as current flow in both directions. Diodes and vacuums are examples of unilateral devices.

Terms used in the network analysis

The basic terms are moving forward with the definition of network analysis. Electrical networks employ a variety of helpful words. Let’s clarify these words:

  1. Network: A network is a configuration of passive and active components that creates closed routes.
  2. Node: A node is a location in a network where two or more elements of a circuit are connected.
  3. Junction: A network junction is the intersection of three or more circuit elements.
  4. Branch: This in a network is a location that sits between junction points. Or, to put it another way, a branch connects two nodes.
  5. Loop: A loop is any closed path in a network.
  6. Mesh: In a network, a mesh is a circuit entirely looped around and cannot be separated into additional loops.
  7. Ports: Ports often represent the input and output signals in a network. Moreover, the current flowing into and out of these places
  8. Component: It is a group of more than one terminal in a network where the current can flow, and sometimes there’s a possibility of no flow of current as well.
  9. Tree: A branch of a network that can be drawn between junction points without establishing a closed path is referred to as a tree in a network.

Methods for Measuring Network Analysis

There are two other crucial approaches for network analysis. The two types of analysis are nodal analysis and mesh analysis. The most common and commonly used approaches for network analysis are these two.

Nodal Evaluation

Kirchhoff’s Current Law asserts that the current entering a node equals the current exiting the node and is the main focus of a network’s nodal analysis. In other words, zero current flows into and out of the node. If a node (the intersection of network branches) has n branches and currents flow through the branches at 11, 12, 13, etc., then:


[I+12+13+In = 0]

Mesh Evaluation

A network loop with no other loops is referred to as a mesh. The network’s branches define the edges of a network mesh. According to the mesh analysis, the overall voltage across each branch is zero. That is, in any direction along the edges of a mesh, the sum of voltage gains is equal to the sum of voltage reductions. This is Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law in action. If n branches form a mesh and V1, V2, V3, and V are the voltages across each branch, we can write:


[V0 + Vg + Va…]

Network Analysis Types 

Numerous network analysis types of parallel and series circuit combinations are employed in network analysis.


Network Analysis Types of a Simple Circuit’s Network

The main objective of network analysis is to simplify a moderately complex network. Impedances are typically combined in series and parallel to achieve this. It is occasionally required to convert some or all of the voltage sources in the network to current sources and the other way around.

Any two terminals of an active network can be shown to have a voltage between them and a current flowing through them if we take a closer look. Even after the network has been made simpler across these two endpoints, the voltage and current about the terminals remain unaltered.


Network analysis types of a complex circuit’s network

The primary concern is as follows: In a series-parallel analysis, groups of resistors directly connected in series or parallel were found. These groups were then reduced to a single equivalent resistance. What can be done if resistors are not connected in a straightforward series or parallel configuration? It should be clear that this circuit, which has just three resistors and is very simple, cannot be broken down into a series of straightforward parallel and series parts; it is something new.

Circuits come in a variety of types, which are discussed below:

  1. Series Circuit

The resistance is wired in series in this circuit and is added immediately using the formula for a series circuit. We utilize a single battery and a single voltage to calculate the values of all these quantities using simply Ohm’s law.

  1. Parallel Circuits

Resistance is not coupled to a single branch in these circuits; rather, it is attached to several branches, which are connected by ports. They are creating a circuit where the voltage across each resistance is different but the current flowing through them is the same.

  1. Bridge circuits

Unbalanced and balanced bridge circuits are the two different types of bridge circuits. The balanced bridge circuits are created when the ratio of the four resistances divided into the two groups is equal. R1/R2 and R3/R4 are equivalent. These ratios, however, aren’t equivalent to one another in unbalanced circuits.

Observables in network analysis

  1. Network analysis transformations come in delta and stay connected flavors. The remarkable thing is that we must convert the delta or vice versa to obtain star-connected transformation.
  2. Changing the circuit’s series and parallel configuration is all that is required to change the ports.
  3. These circuits can be a network of branches or combinations, sometimes in series and sometimes in parallel. They always adhere to some topology.

Network analysis applications

Network analysis is often used to calculate voltage and current in electrical circuits. In network analysis, there are many interrelated parts of a network. In network analysis, the circuit is mathematically studied. That’s all to build a solid understanding of network analysis. Keep on revising the above mentioned concepts to understand what is a network analysis thoroughly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

1.What does “network analysis” mean to you? Outline the typical techniques for circuit analysis.

The definition of a network analysis states that network analysis is the study of how different parts of an electrical circuit are connected. The values of voltage and current are calculated using network analysis. Engineers use network analysis to solve challenging electrical circuits. The network analysis uses a variety of various series and parallel circuit configurations. The circuit is made easier by network analysis utilizing several calculation theorems. 

2.What is the direct method? 

Simple circuits can only be solved using the direct method. A direct method uses the circuit’s original configuration to calculate the various voltage and current values. For instance, the superposition theorems, nodal analysis, loop analysis, and Kirchoff’s law.

3.What is the network reduction method? 

Both simple and complex networks can be solved using the network reduction method. The network reduction approach reduces the complexity of the circuit to enable quick calculations of many quantities.

4.Describe the network analysis of Kirchhoff’s laws.

Kirchhoff’s principles are frequently used to calculate the equivalent resistance and current flowing through various conductors in complex circuits. Kirchoff laws are primarily two, which are listed below:

Kirchhoff’s current law (KCL): According to Kirchhoff’s current law, zero is the algebraic sum of the currents that meet at a point. Mathematically, ∑ I = 0. Kirchoff’s current law states that an electrical current’s incoming and outgoing currents must be equal.

Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law (KVL): According to Kirchhoff’s voltage law, the sum of voltages in the closed is equal to 0 at any time. Mathematically, ∑ V = 0.

5.What exactly is Ohm’s law?

Ohm’s law states that current flowing through an electrical circuit is directly proportional to voltage, and resistance remains constant throughout the circuit. Ohm’s law applies only when the physical conditions of temperature, resistivity, and  material remain constant.

Network Analysis


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