What is the name/type/search term I can use to find similar puzzles to the one below (so I can practice them, as I really struggle currently wrapping my head around them)?

Any type of question where you have to interpret an unsual way of presenting data

I have tried:

  • complex data representation (but this mainly shows business charts)
  • abstract reasoning (but this mainly yields "Spot whats next in the pattern")

An example of the type of puzzle which I am seeking the name for is below:

  • Solid lines indicate a child of a father from the clan at the origin of the arrow becomes a member of the clan to which the arrow points.
  • Broken lines indicate allowed marriage relationships where any man from the clan at the origin of the arrow may marry a woman of the clan to which the arrow points.
  • A man of clan X has to marry a woman of clan m(X).
  • A child of a man of clan X will be of a clan c(X).

In both systems, individuals belong to the clan of:
A) one parent, B) their aunts, C) their uncles, D) their sibling

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ What's the puzzle? I can see the setup for a puzzle, but it's missing any statement of something to solve. $\endgroup$ – Peter Taylor Nov 24 '16 at 6:53
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    $\begingroup$ The puzzle is "In both systems, individuals belong to the clan of: A) one parent, B) their aunts, C) their uncles D) their sibling" $\endgroup$ – K-Feldspar Nov 24 '16 at 6:53
  • $\begingroup$ I thought you were making a joke first and cracked up. But if you are serious. Thank you! Though I didn't really mean problems relating to only family. More about problems where you need to interpret any unusual form of data representation. $\endgroup$ – K-Feldspar Nov 24 '16 at 10:54
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know of a term for these (which is very little evidence that there isn't one), but they strike me more as the sort of thing you find in intelligence/aptitude tests, rather than puzzles as such. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 24 '16 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ Well, @wizzwizz4, it wasn't much of an answer. I didn't think this question really belonged here because it doesn't have anything to do with resolving or building puzzles, but I initially chose to give the information in an answer rather than a comment. $\endgroup$ – can-ned_food May 5 '18 at 3:03

Topology is the study of relationships between objects in a network. It is a subset of set theory, which is an aspect of ontology.
More precisely, you are describing a ‘sociogram’.

So far as I understand, your question doesn't actually ask for anything that I would consider to concern the resolution or building of puzzles, but we could easily devise a form of logic puzzle which presented you with various people, qualified as nodes in a network, and their relationships to other people.

As an example, let's say that you are given a list of people. With each person you are given one typified relationship to one other person in that same list. You are tasked to classify each person in one of two sets: whether a person is eligible or ineligible to wed a select person X.
First, you would need to construct a topological graph — i.e. a sociogram — which allowed you to deduce the unknown relationships between persons.
Then, based on whatever rules the puzzle states for us as to what criteria make two people ineligible to wed, the puzzle can be solved if you can map every node to one and only one of those two classes for any arbitrarily selected person X — or, at the very least, to a only one certain person X given in the conditions of the puzzle.

Because I didn't really answer your question, I'll list where further information can be obtained by researching:

  • General topology
    If you research ‘network topology’ you are more likely to encounter the specialist usage of the word ‘network’ — pertaining to computer and signal technology — rather than the generalist, mathematical one.
  • Graph theory
    • Crossing number
  • Knot theory
  • Mathematical puzzles
  • Disentanglement, a.k.a. topological, puzzles
    E.g. the renowned tavern puzzles of topologically interlocked pieces of forged iron or bronze.
  • “Three utilities problem”
    You have three houses arranged as points on a straight line. On a parallel Euclidean line are three other points representing Water, Electricity, and Gas — or Heating Oil or Steam or whatever you please. Can each house be connected to each utility service by pipes and wires which neither cross nor leave the plane containing the two parallel lines?
  • $\begingroup$ That's not related to what the question is asking at all. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Feb 23 '17 at 17:48

I did a bit of digging around on Bing, I believe they are called:

Prescriptive marriage systems

Some clues:


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