Approximation algorithms for a capacitated network design problem

Refael Hassin*, R. Ravi, F. Sibel Salman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study a capacitated network design problem with applications in local access network design. Given a network, the problem is to route flow from several sources to a sink and to install capacity on the edges to support the flow at minimum cost. Capacity can be purchased only in multiples of a fixed quantity. All the flow from a source must be routed in a single path to the sink. This NP-hard problem generalizes the Steiner tree problem and also more effectively models the applications traditionally formulated as capacitated tree problems. We present an approximation algorithm with performance ratio (ρST + 2) where ρST is the performance ratio of any approximation algorithm for the minimum Steiner tree problem. When all sources have unit demand, the ratio improves to ρST + 1) and, in particular, to 2 when all nodes in the graph are sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-431
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Capacity installation
  • Network design
  • Routing flow


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