Inequality and dreams of higher ed

The cost of college may be on the rise, but most still agree that it's a sound investment. There are, in fact, a number of personal and societal benefits associated with getting a bachelor's degree and, it seems, people know ...

Predicting future sports rankings from evolving performance

Competitive sports and games are all about the performance of players and teams, which results in performance-based hierarchies. Because such performance is measurable and is the result of varied rules, sports and games are ...

Your friends have more friends than you do

No matter how smart and funny you think you are, those you follow on Twitter really do have a larger following than you. And the same holds true for Facebook. But there is no reason to feel badly about any of this, according ...

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A hierarchy (Greek: hierarchia (ἱεραρχία), from hierarches, "leader of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another. Abstractly, a hierarchy is simply an ordered set or an acyclic directed graph.

A hierarchy (sometimes abbreviated HR) can link entities either directly or indirectly, and either vertically or horizontally. The only direct links in a hierarchy, insofar as they are hierarchical, are to one's immediate superior or to one of one's subordinates, although a system that is largely hierarchical can also incorporate alternative hierarchies. Indirect hierarchical links can extend "vertically" upwards or downwards via multiple links in the same direction, following a path. All parts of the hierarchy which are not linked vertically to one another nevertheless can be "horizontally" linked through a path by traveling up the hierarchy to find a common direct or indirect superior, and then down again. This is akin to two co-workers or colleagues; each reports to a common superior, but they have the same relative amount of authority. Organizational forms exist that are both alternative and complimentary to hierarchy. Heterarchy (sometimes abbreviated HT) is one such form.

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