I want to understand why we use the term "network topology" as opposed to "network graph", or another term, to talk about the structure of networks. I'm working on a network design for a project, and want to make sure I don't use any terms that I don't truly understand.
Wikipedia defines network topology as "the arrangement of the various elements (links, nodes, etc.) of a computer network." This strikes me as interesting, because when I hear the words link and node, I immediately think of graph theory and the objects it is concerned with.
Topology, according to Wikipedia again, is "concerned with the properties of space that are preserved under continuous deformations..." And when you look at the basic examples of topological objects, you see coffee cups and Möbius strips, as opposed to the discrete vertices and edges you see with graph theory.
So why do we refer to networks as having a "topology"?