Optimization of Distribution Networks



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Teaching in summer term

The course Optimization of Distribution Networks (Lecture + Exercise) is delivered as an online course following the Inverted Classroom paradigm. Recordings of lectures focussing on specific topics will be made available in Moodle and are accompanied by exercise tasks that the students should attempt to solve on their own. The solutions to the exercises are presented in live-sessions. Arising questions can be asked in the forum as well as in the live-sessions of the exercises. Further questions to the lecturer and advanced discussions will also take place during regular live sessions. In addition, we will have guest lectures as additional live sessions.

Recordings and other material will be made available over time and then remain available until the end of the semester. Kick-off and live sessions (including guest lectures) are not recorded. The regular live sessions will only answer specific questions regarding the subjects treated in the recordings and leave time for discussions. The subjects taught in the recorded sessions will not be repeated.


The course focuses on the design of distribution networks using optimization methods from a theoretical as well as practical perspective. The first part of the lecture (held in English) covers the core area of location planning. The second part comprises guest lectures from industry partners like, e.g., Deutsche Post DHL, PTV Group, or Lufthansa Technik as well as from scientific partners working on the optimization of distribution networks; this part will be given in either English or German depending on the preferences of the presenter. In this way, the students learn about real-world problems in the field of distribution logistics and how they can be addressed using scientific methods.


Language: English (Guest lectures may be German)
Prerequisites: Operations Research 1 or similar knowledge helpful
Grading: 100 % exam + bonus possible: Quizzes will be asked during classes. By completing at least 75% of them successfully, the final grade will be increased by one grade step, e.g., from 2.0 to 1.7.


    Learning goals

    1. to understand the most important design decisions for distribution networks
    2. to formulate mathematical models to optimize distribution networks
    3. to understand the practical approach of using such models
    4. to estimate the cost savings potential of such models.

    External Links