Transportation theory (mathematics)

Study of optimal transportation and allocation of resources / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematics and economics, transportation theory or transport theory is a name given to the study of optimal transportation and allocation of resources. The problem was formalized by the French mathematician Gaspard Monge in 1781.[1]

In the 1920s A.N. Tolstoi was one of the first to study the transportation problem mathematically. In 1930, in the collection Transportation Planning Volume I for the National Commissariat of Transportation of the Soviet Union, he published a paper "Methods of Finding the Minimal Kilometrage in Cargo-transportation in space".[2][3]

Major advances were made in the field during World War II by the Soviet mathematician and economist Leonid Kantorovich.[4] Consequently, the problem as it is stated is sometimes known as the Monge–Kantorovich transportation problem.[5] The linear programming formulation of the transportation problem is also known as the HitchcockKoopmans transportation problem.[6]