This paper investigates the characteristics of typical optimisation models within Distribution Network Design. During the paper fourteen models known from the literature will be thoroughly analysed. Through this analysis a schematic approach to categorisation of distribution network design models on a tabular form is introduced. The analysis provides a framework for a categorisation of models based on their structure. The models which are analyzed cover both strategic as well as tactical planning issues, as the categorisation framework seeks to avoid making this distinction The features which are covered in the categorisation include fixed vs. general networks, specialised vs. general nodes, linear vs. nonlinear costs, single vs. multi commodity, uncapacitated vs. capacitated activities, single vs. multi modal and static vs. dynamic. The models examined address both strategic and tactical planning issues but do include considerations on the operational level. The paper should prove to be useful to both theoretically well-founded and experienced readers as a well as to inexperienced readers as it provides a broad but easy accessible literature survey. This also makes this paper ideal for educational purposes. Furthermore, the paper can be seen as a practical introduction to network design modelling as well as a being an art manual or recipe when constructing such a model.
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Technical University of Denmark, Centre for Traffic and Transport, 2006