Chapter 4

Network Flow Models

If the weak were to

Tide across the rapids of life

With your help,

What do you stand to lose?

Bhupen Hazarika (based on a translation by Pradip Acharya)


In a computer network, an important function is to carry traffic efficiently, given the routing paradigm in place. This efficiency is achieved through traffic engineering. In this chapter, we discuss common traffic engineering goals such as minimum cost routing, minimization of the most congested links (“load balancing”), and minimization of the average delay by presenting network flow models for these goals. Mathematical formulations for these traffic engineering optimization problems for given routing requirements are presented ...

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