Some Methods for Determining the Most Vital Link in a Railway Network

by Richard D. Wollmer

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A formulation of railroad interdiction problems in terms of network theory. It assumes that the opposing force wants to maximize its flow of supplies from given origins to given terminals and that the interdicting force wishes to minimize this flow. If the opposing force has an unlimited number of trains, the interdicting force must attack the link that would most severely curtail the number of trains able to use the railway system; if the enemy has a limited number of trains, the link to be attacked is the one that would force the trains to take the longest routes. Algorithms are given for determining the critical link in both situations, as well as their proof and examples of their use.

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