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The Impact of Distribution System Characteristics on Computational Tractability


  • Iqbal Agha

    () (Department of Finance & Operations Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

  • Debra J. O'Connor

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)


Mathematical programming models that seek optimal design and operational plans for distribution systems can be computationally intractable. This paper examines the extent to which distribution configuration and demand characteristics affect the ease of obtaining an optimal solution. Problem characteristics, which are reflected in a model by the parameter values, can render the model for one distribution scenario to be computationally intractable and that for another to yield an optimal solution easily. We introduce echelon-flow-based valid inequalities and use them to explicate the extent to which problem characteristics impact computational tractability.

Suggested Citation

  • Iqbal Agha & Debra J. O'Connor, 2008. "The Impact of Distribution System Characteristics on Computational Tractability," Working Papers 0807, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0807

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hauk, William R. & Wacziarg, Romain, 2007. "Small States, Big Pork," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 95-106, March.
    2. Alvarez, R Michael & Saving, Jason L, 1997. "Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 55-73, July.
    3. Brian Knight, 2004. "Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power, and the Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence from the U.S. Senate," NBER Working Papers 10385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David M. Drukker, 2003. "Testing for serial correlation in linear panel-data models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(2), pages 168-177, June.
    5. Bernhardt, Dan & Dubey, Sangita & Hughson, Eric, 2004. "Term limits and pork barrel politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2383-2422, December.
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    Distribution; Integer programming; Logistics;

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