The behaviour of the entire network depends on the behaviour and characteristics of its elements. Based on such characteristics electrical network can be classified as below :
1.Linear Network :
A circuit or network whose parameters i.e. elements like resistances, inductances and capacitances are always constant irrespective of the change in time, voltage, temperature etc. is known as linear network. The Ohm’s law can be applied to such network. The mathematical equations of such network can be obtained by using the law of superposition.
2.Non linear Network :
A circuit whose parameters change their values with change in time, temperature, voltage etc. is known as non linear network . The Ohm’s law may not be applied to such network. Such network does not follow the law of
3.Bilateral Network :
A circuit whose characteristics, behavior is same irrespective of the direction of current through various elements of it, is called bilateral network. Network consisting only resistances is good example of bilateral network.
4.Unilateral Network :
A circuit whose operation, behaviour is dependent on the direction of the current through various elements is called unilateral network. Circuit consisting diodes, which allows flow of current only in one direction is good example of unilateral circuit.
5.Active Network :
A circuit which contains a source of energy is called An energy source may be a voltage or current source.
6.Passive Network :
A circuit which contains no energy source is called passive. There are two forms of circuits in which two types of voltages are used. One alternating i.e. ac. while second is direct i.e. d.c. The alternating current (a.c.) circuits contains voltages which are periodically varying and hence the currents also vary periodically. The direct current circuits (d.c) contains fixed voltage sources having polarities +ve and — ve.
7.Lumped Network :
A network in which all the network elements are physically separable is known as lumped network. Most of the electric networks are lumped in nature.
8.Distributed Network :
A network in which the circuit elements like resistance, inductance etc. cannot be physically separable for analysis purposes, is called distributed network. The best example of such a network is a transmission line where resistance, inductance and capacitance of a transmission line are distributed all along its length and cannot be shown as a separate elements, any where in the circuit.