Solution Sheet – Network Designer

Network Designer

Ab Ovo’s Network Designer comprises a Quintiq-based modeling framework which allows to design dynamic multi-commodity networks and to optimize the commodity flows in it. Dynamic networks are studied since a couple of decades and are used to model the behavior of networks and the flows in it over time.

Variety of flows

Typical applications are flows of materials, means of transport or persons over time in networks with constrained capacity and varying speed and cost characteristics. Often facilities for storage of flow (with limited capacity) are added, and additions such as integrality constraints, parallel arcs, flow losses or minimum compulsory flow if used are not unheard of.

    Model and visualize network structures and optimize flows

    Network Designer was started as an internal modeling tool for a quick analysis and design of customer demos. It permits to model and visualize network structures and to optimize flows in them, and came to use for instance in rail cargo empty wagon repositioning. Network Designer’s versatility came to the fore when it was used to model the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the North-West German intensive care infrastructure (see blog post) Next to the applications just mentioned, demos exist also in finished vehicle logistics (intermodal, worldwide), reusable plastic Container (RPC) flow and ski resort design.

    Other application areas where dynamic networks were used before include yard block planning in finished vehicle logistics, tonnage planning of RO/RO vessels, empty container/pallet/etc. management and evacuation planning in airports and aircraft.

    Dynamic networks are studied since a couple of decades and are used to model the behavior of networks and the flows in it over time.

    Network Designer offers the following features:

    • import from Excel
    • support for recurring nodes and arcs
    • single or multiple commodities
    • mixed integer programming based flow optimizer
    • visualization of network and of flows (color setting automatic or user-defined)

    The modeling capabilities include:

    • min/max capacities at nodes and arcs
    • six modes how node capacities are to be interpreted
    • zero-or-range capacity constraints on arcs
    • (optional) integrality constraints on arcs
    • knapsack constraints on arbitrary subsets of arcs
    • flows constrained to multiples of a constant on arcs
    • flow multipliers
    • linear and (convex) quadratic constraints.

    Ab Ovo’s Network Designer comprises a Quintiq-based modeling framework which allows to design dynamic multi-commodity networks and to optimize the commodity flows in it.

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