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This paper presents the qualitative nature of communication network operations as abstraction of typical thermodynamic parameters (e.g., order parameter, temperature, and pressure). Specifically, statistical mechanics-inspired models of critical phenomena (e.g., phase transitions and size scaling) for heterogeneous packet transmission are developed in terms of multiple intensive parameters, namely, the external packet load on the network system and the packet transmission probabilities of heterogeneous packet types. Network phase diagrams are constructed based on these traffic parameters, and decision and control strategies are formulated for heterogeneous packet transmission in the network system. In this context, decision functions and control objectives are derived in closed forms, and the pertinent results of test and validation on a simulated network system are presented.