Mathematical Programming

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 437–445 | Cite as

On the history of the transportation and maximum flow problems

  • Alexander Schrijver


We review two papers that are of historical interest for combinatorial optimization: an article of A.N. Tolsto&ıbreve; from 1930, in which the transportation problem is studied, and a negative cycle criterion is developed and applied to solve a (for that time) large-scale (10×68) transportation problem to optimality; and an, until recently secret, RAND report of T.E. Harris and F.S. Ross from 1955, that Ford and Fulkerson mention as motivation to study the maximum flow problem. The papers have in common that they both apply their methods to the Soviet railway network.


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Copyright information

© Alexander Schrijver 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Schrijver
    • 1
  1. 1.CWI, Kruislaan 413, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Department of Mathematics, University of Amsterdam, Plantage Muidergracht 24, 1018 TV Amsterdam, The NetherlandsNL

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