Have you ever seen a presentation without graphs? Talk to a researcher and they will have a million things to say about why graphs are so critical in their thesis. The applications of graphs are many, but the real test remains in interpreting and understanding them. Those who are able to use graphs creatively, benefit from this symbol representation of information.
A lot of problems of a practical nature can be easily represented with graphs. Today they are most commonly used to compare data from several different ranges. For instance, which would you find more appealing and informative, a table of data listing the populations of various years or a graph representing the same information.
For most people, the graph representation of numbers and data makes more of an immediate impact. Those who use graphs, swear by their usefulness in their respective fields. Whether it is a research based report or the presentation of the finances of a company graphs do make an important impact.
Line graphs, bar graphs and histograms are the most popularly used graphs. Ever since computers made it easier to create and use graphs, even those who couldn't previously make them manually, have been able to create them on their own. Since graphs signify relations between two or more items, they can be used in a variety of contexts. Most often, they are used for making simple comparisons. However, if you know how to use them, you can utilize them for more complex representation of data as well.
Graphs are usually considered useful because they can also be used as mathematical models, representing several different network structures. Nodal graphs can be used to depict relationships and connections between commodities, places and values. They are often used to depict network structures. This can be a network of any possible element - road networks, internet networks and many more. These are only graphical representations of relationships without actually showing the actual placements and directions of the values or commodities.
The most important practical use of the graph is to represent how things are interlinked physically as well as logically to form a network structure. Graphs find their use in many different domains, especially to represent the manner in which different things are linked to each other - whether physically or logically.
Some of the most commonly used graphs are social and information networks. In the social network graphs, the nodes are actually groups of people or individuals themselves. In such graphs the edges represent the social interactions or relationships between the nodes. The paths and connectivity of the nodes on the graphs are very important because they usually signify the direction that the social interactions are taking.
The second broad category of graphs is the information networks. These are the graphs in which the various nodes of the graphs are sources of information. These could be anything, representing a logical connection. For instance, an information network graph could be created to present web pages and their respective citations. The uses and applications can be endless.