# Flow network

## Directed graph where edges have a capacity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In graph theory, a **flow network** (also known as a **transportation network**) is a directed graph where each edge has a **capacity** and each edge receives a flow. The amount of flow on an edge cannot exceed the capacity of the edge. Often in operations research, a directed graph is called a **network**, the vertices are called **nodes** and the edges are called **arcs**. A flow must satisfy the restriction that the amount of flow into a node equals the amount of flow out of it, unless it is a **source**, which has only outgoing flow, or **sink**, which has only incoming flow. A network can be used to model traffic in a computer network, circulation with demands, fluids in pipes, currents in an electrical circuit, or anything similar in which something travels through a network of nodes.