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This paper is a brief survey of network realization techniques, from a general point of view. By realization techniques is meant methods of finding explicit networks (configurations and element values) from prescribed characteristics (such as impedance functions) which can be realized exactly. The statement of conditions under which prescribed characteristics are realizable is included in the definition. Important ingredients of realization techniques are first discussed. Then various past trends in the development of realization techniques are noted. Finally, some as yet unsolved problems are formulated.