This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at


Network Optimization

As taught in: Spring 2003

Statistics: Given the information in your hand, what is in the pail?  Probability: Given the information in the pail, what is in your hand?

Diagram showing a Breadth First Search in progress. (Diagram by Prof. James Orlin.)


Prof. James Orlin

MIT Course Number:

15.082J / 6.855J



Course Features

Course Highlights

Walk through the main topics in Network Optimization step-by-step by viewing the many animations available. The complete set of lecture notes makes use of many diagrams and other visuals to clarify abstract concepts. Students work by themselves or with a partner to complete assignments, which sometimes involve proofs.

Course Description

15.082J/6.855J is an H-level graduate subject in the theory and practice of network flows and its extensions. Network flow problems form a subclass of linear programming problems with applications to transportation, logistics, manufacturing, computer science, project management, finance as well as a number of other domains. This subject will survey some of the applications of network flows and focus on key special cases of network flow problems including the following: the shortest path problem, the maximum flow problem, the minimum cost flow problem, and the multi-commodity flow problem.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.