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Current techniques for formulating the mathematical characteristics of physical systems vary greatly from one type to another (mechanical, electrical, thermal, etc.). Of these techniques, those used in electrical network analysis have proven to be the more orderly and generally applicable as evidenced by repeated efforts on the part of the system analyst to establish first an electrical analog of the system in question. This paper presents the basis of an operational concept of system analysis embracing all types of systems, and presents an orderly, sure, and relatively simple basis for extending the discipline of linear graph theory (abstracted form of network theory) to the analysis and synthesis of all types of lumped-parameter systems without the artifice of analogies. It is indicated that these procedures and concepts also provide a means for extending electrical network theory beyond current applications to include systems of multiterminal components.