Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Nov 18 21:56:56 UTC 2005

Quoting James Knight <jlk at 3GECKOS.NET>:

> The leap from graph theory to descriptions of
> electronic (read: internet) network analogs is no
> stretch, IMHO. Nothing in the hacker's glossary, however.

The ACM Digital Archive has articles applying graph-theoretical "connectivity"
to computer networks as early as 1957. By the mid-'60s it was in use without
explicit reference to graph theory. And by the early '70s, it was used to refer
to ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet:

Richard Van Slyke and Howard Frank, "Reliability of computer-communication
Proceedings of the 5th conference on Winter simulation (1971), p. 71
Network Connectivity Probability. The IMPs in the ARPA system are very
rugged, highly reliable units and preliminary information implies they can be
made more reliable than their connecting lines.
F.F. Kuo, "The ALOHA system"
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Vol. 4, Issue 1 (Jan. 1974), p. 6
We are also studying the possibility of using a complete transponder
on a U.S. domestic satellite for ARPA Network operation. ... In addition to
lower costs and higher speeds, a packet switched transponder on a domestic
satellite would provide for higher network connectivity and enhanced
possibilities for new forms of resource sharing.

--Ben Zimmer

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