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This problem is typical of the class of "network" problems, which generally involve the shipping of goods through transportation networks or of oil or gas through systems of pipelines.
This problem illustrates the use of optimization to provide the least-cost distribution for a business that produces a product at many locations, transports it to intermediate warehouses, and then to final consumption or sales locations. Manufacturers, utilities, retail chains, and other distributors are all likely users of shipping optimization systems modeled along similar lines.
Objective of Optimization:
The objective is to meet all plant demand without exceeding steel mill capacity at minimum shipping cost.