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A hub is an element that connects together several parts of a system that are either similar or play a similar role in the overall system. It is usually seen as the center of many connections, although there may be many such centers in the same overall system.

Wheels[edit | edit source]

The hub is the central part of a wheel.

In a bicycle, the hub connects all the wheel spokes together.

Transport[edit | edit source]

A transport hub is a place where people or goods being transported change vehicles.

  • In general, a public transport hub can be any bus, metro and railway stations where passengers have the choice between several lines and possibly transport means. Airports also enter in this category, as they concentrate people coming via various means to go further with airplanes.
  • Many airports also serve as airline hubs: airlines use them to transfer passengers between planes serving various destinations (it's called a hub-and-spoke topology) or between small and big planes (local versus long-distance traffic).
  • Since the invention of the early containers in the late 18th century, those were transferred between rail, canals, and roads. With the containers being standardized (dimensions, markings, fitting...) in the late 1960s, inter-modal freight transport hubs started to develop everywhere in the world, where containers are transferred between trains, trucks, and ships in a vastly automated efficient way.

Computing[edit | edit source]

A hub is a computing device that replicates ports. For instance, an Ethernet hub is used to connect several computers onto the same Ethernet network segment. A USB hub is used to connect several computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, printer...) to the same USB port on a computer.

In a computing network, the information may be distributed among several computers, with information being routed towards the right one over one computer acting as a hub. This network topology is very common f.i. in the context of email systems, where individual messages are routed over few speedy servers acting as hubs towards the right slower servers with huge storage capacity hosting mailboxes. [simple:Hub]]