Valid inequalities for the topology optimization problem in gas network design

• One quarter of Europe's energy demand is provided by natural gas distributed through a vast pipeline network covering the whole of Europe. At a cost of 1 million Euro per km extending the European pipeline network is already a multi-billion Euro business. Therefore, automatic planning tools that support the decision process are desired. Unfortunately, current mathematical methods are not capable of solving the arising network design problems due to their size and complexity. In this article, we will show how to apply optimization methods that can converge to a proven global optimal solution. By introducing a new class of valid inequalities that improve the relaxation of our mixed-integer nonlinear programming model, we are able to speed up the necessary computations substantially.

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