Communication and Contacts in Massively Interconnected Systems Part 1: Rent’s Rule and Connectedness between People


By Pavel Barseghyan, PhD

Dallas, USA and Yerevan, Armenia


Communication and contacts between people are the heart of the organization of any human activity.

To account for this important factor in modern systems of the management of human activities it is necessary to develop quantitative methods for the description of communication, contacts and connections between people.

Despite its obvious importance of this direction of research in organizational science it is still remains in the shadow of other equally important issues.

It is important to notice, that similar problems of quantitative description of connectedness of the elements and systems in electronics arose long time ago in the 60’s of the last century.

Over the last 50 years in this area are obtained good theoretical and practical results that can serve as a guide in organization science.

The first result in this direction of quantitative description of connectivity was the so-called Rent’s Rule [1]. Rent, an employee of IBM, empirically established a relation between the number of signal pins of logic blocks as a function of the number of elements in the block.

These studies continue to date in several ways, including the different applications of the Rent’s Rule, generalizations of this rule for use in other areas, as well as the development of the theory of connectivity, which considers the communication and contacts between people as dynamic processes that take place in time and space [2, 3].

This paper consists of two parts. The first part discusses the possibility of using the Rent’s Rule to analyze communications and contacts in human or peopled systems.

The second part of the paper will address the elements of the theory of functions of connectedness and their applications for the analysis of human systems for the needs of organizational science.


Communication and contacts between people is the core of any human activity, including program and project management, enterprise management and much more.

Together, all the different methods of communication and contacts between people determine their connectedness, which is the real core of the organization of work or undertaking of any size.

Accordingly, the considerations involved with the connectedness between people, must play a crucial role in modern methodologies of the organization of human work. It also means that the quantitative methods of organizational science, in turn, should take due account of the quantitative aspects of the problem of connectedness and contacts between people.


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About the Author 

flag-Armenia-USApavel-barseghyanPavel Barseghyan, PhD    

Dr. Pavel Barseghyan is a consultant in the field of quantitative project management, project data mining and organizational science. Has over 40 years experience in academia, the electronics industry, the EDA industry and Project Management Research and tools development. During the period of 1999-2010 he was the Vice President of Research for Numetrics Management Systems. Prior to joining Numetrics, Dr. Barseghyan worked as an R&D manager at Infinite Technology Corp. in Texas. He was also a founder and the president of an EDA start-up company, DAN Technologies, Ltd. that focused on high-level chip design planning and RTL structural floor planning technologies. Before joining ITC, Dr. Barseghyan was head of the Electronic Design and CAD department at the State Engineering University of Armenia, focusing on development of the Theory of Massively Interconnected Systems and its applications to electronic design. During the period of 1975-1990, he was also a member of the University Educational Policy Commission for Electronic Design and CAD Direction in the Higher Education Ministry of the former USSR. Earlier in his career he was a senior researcher in Yerevan Research and Development Institute of Mathematical Machines (Armenia). He is an author of nine monographs and textbooks and more than 100 scientific articles in the area of quantitative project management, mathematical theory of human work, electronic design and EDA methodologies, and tools development. More than 10 Ph.D. degrees have been awarded under his supervision. Dr. Barseghyan holds an MS in Electrical Engineering (1967) and Ph.D. (1972) and Doctor of Technical Sciences (1990) in Computer Engineering from Yerevan Polytechnic Institute (Armenia).  Pavel’s publications can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/pbarseghyan and here: http://pavelbarseghyan.wordpress.com/.  Pavel can be contacted at [email protected]