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Territory design and districting may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. The availability of GIS on computers and the growing interest in Geo-Marketing leads to an increasing importance of this area. Despite the wide range of applications for territory design problems, when taking a closer look at the models proposed in the literature, a lot of similarities can be noticed. Indeed, the models are many times very similar and can often be, more or less directly, carried over to other applications. Therefore, our aim is to provide a generic application-independent model and present efficient solution techniques. We introduce a basic model that covers aspects common to most applications. Moreover, we present a method for solving the general model which is based on ideas from the field of computational geometry. Theoretical as well as computational results underlining the efficiency of the new approach will be given. Finally, we show how to extend the model and solution algorithm to make it applicable for a broader range of applications and how to integrate the presented techniques into a GIS.

In this paper, the model of Köttgen, Barkey and Socie, which corrects the elastic stress and strain tensor histories at notches of a metallic specimen under non-proportional loading, is improved. It can be used in connection with any multiaxial s -e -law of incremental plasticity. For the correction model, we introduce a constraint for the strain components that goes back to the work of Hoffmann and Seeger. Parameter identification for the improved model is performed by Automatic Differentiation and an established least squares algorithm. The results agree accurately both with transient FE computations and notch strain measurements.

Safety and reliability requirements on the one side and short development cycles, low costs and lightweight design on the other side are two competing aspects of truck engineering. For safety critical components essentially no failures can be tolerated within the target mileage of a truck. For other components the goals are to stay below certain predefined failure rates. Reducing weight or cost of structures often also reduces strength and reliability. The requirements on the strength, however, strongly depend on the loads in actual customer usage. Without sufficient knowledge of these loads one needs large safety factors, limiting possible weight or cost reduction potentials. There are a lot of different quantities influencing the loads acting on the vehicle in actual usage. These ‘influencing quantities’ are, for example, the road quality, the driver, traffic conditions, the mission (long haulage, distribution or construction site), and the geographic region. Thus there is a need for statistical methods to model the load distribution with all its variability, which in turn can be used for the derivation of testing specifications.

We prove a general monotonicity result about Nash flows in directed networks and use it for the design of truthful mechanisms in the setting where each edge of the network is controlled by a different selfish agent, who incurs costs when her edge is used. The costs for each edge are assumed to be linear in the load on the edge. To compensate for these costs, the agents impose tolls for the usage of edges. When nonatomic selfish network users choose their paths through the network independently and each user tries to minimize a weighted sum of her latency and the toll she has to pay to the edges, a Nash flow is obtained. Our monotonicity result implies that the load on an edge in this setting can not increase when the toll on the edge is increased, so the assignment of load to the edges by a Nash flow yields a monotone algorithm. By a well-known result, the monotonicity of the algorithm then allows us to design truthful mechanisms based on the load assignment by Nash flows. Moreover, we consider a mechanism design setting with two-parameter agents, which is a generalization of the case of one-parameter agents considered in a seminal paper of Archer and Tardos. While the private data of an agent in the one-parameter case consists of a single nonnegative real number specifying the agent's cost per unit of load assigned to her, the private data of a two-parameter agent consists of a pair of nonnegative real numbers, where the first one specifies the cost of the agent per unit load as in the one-parameter case, and the second one specifies a fixed cost, which the agent incurs independently of the load assignment. We give a complete characterization of the set of output functions that can be turned into truthful mechanisms for two-parameter agents. Namely, we prove that an output function for the two-parameter setting can be turned into a truthful mechanism if and only if the load assigned to every agent is nonincreasing in the agent's bid for her per unit cost and, for almost all fixed bids for the agent's per unit cost, the load assigned to her is independent of the agent's bid for her fixed cost. When the load assigned to an agent is continuous in the agent's bid for her per unit cost, it must be completely independent of the agent's bid for her fixed cost. These results motivate our choice of linear cost functions without fixed costs for the edges in the selfish routing setting, but the results also seem to be interesting in the context of algorithmic mechanism design themselves.