A method, apparatus, computer product and structure is presented for representing and managing large amounts of information concerning networks of elements. While being useful for communication networks, it can be also usefully deployed in the context of other networks such as distribution and transportation networks. The method uses a hierarchical construct called 'catalog'--a set of elements (which could be 'atomic' elements or catalogs themselves)--to organize information about physical or abstract entities relevant for modeling the network. A matrix construct whose rows and columns constitute such elements are used to model connections at different levels of abstraction. A common framework and representation provided using these two constructs is shown to be useful for visualization, administration, configuration, modeling, monitoring and manipulation of the network.
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