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Optmisation and Evolution of Networks

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One cannot optimise the design of a network until its operating rules have been determined. Ideally, both optimisations follow from a single criterion. It is shown that, under initially plausible assumptions, the optimal net makes direct source-sink connections, following the same rules as for the well-known transportation problem. However, two considerations radically change these conclusions, and induce trunking. One is that of variable load, the other is the costing of environmental intrusion.

In all but the simplest cases, computation of the optimal design requires an evolutive treatment of a continuum model. However, treatment simpifies greatly when (and if) a discrete structure begins to emerge. Connections are made with the optimal design of mechanical structures, notably of bone.

This talk is part of the Optimization and Incentives Seminar series.

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