In the years since the book of Lozanskii and Firsov "The Theory of Spark"  was published, a number of experimental and theoretical studies in the physics of electric breakdown in gases were conducted. As a result of these studies, the concept of a wavelike nature of breakdown initiated by single high-voltage electric pulses or by a constant electric field was confirmed. Theoretical models in which the concept of breakdown in a constant external field was developed were first exposed in the above-named book in the chapter "Development of a streamer regarded as an ionization wave," written by Rodin and Starostin. This book treats the initial stage of electric breakdown as a wave proÂ cess. The wavelike nature of the phenomena under consideration is preÂ sented for streamers and sliding discharges, for electric breakdown developÂ ment in long discharge tubes as well as in gas-filled gaps. Chapter 1 gives a qualitative consideration of phenomena determinÂ ing the electric breakdown of gases. The experimental data and theoretical results are exposed and discussed with application to streamers, plane ionÂ ization waves, breakdown waves in long tubes, and propagation of sliding discharges. The subject of this chapter may be considered as an area of applications of different theoretical models, formulas, and estimates that are presented in other chapters of the book.
Transportation problems belong to the domains mathematical program- ming and operations research. Transportation models are widely applied in various fields. Numerous concrete problems (for example, assignment and distribution problems, maximum-flow problem, etc. ) are formulated as trans- portation problems. Some efficient methods have been developed for solving transportation problems of various types. This monograph is devoted to transportation problems with minimax cri- teria. The classical (linear) transportation problem was posed several decades ago. In this problem, supply and demand points are given, and it is required to minimize the transportation cost. This statement paved the way for numerous extensions and generalizations. In contrast to the original statement of the problem, we consider a min- imax rather than a minimum criterion. In particular, a matrix with the minimal largest element is sought in the class of nonnegative matrices with given sums of row and column elements. In this case, the idea behind the minimax criterion can be interpreted as follows. Suppose that the shipment time from a supply point to a demand point is proportional to the amount to be shipped. Then, the minimax is the minimal time required to transport the total amount. It is a common situation that the decision maker does not know the tariff coefficients. In other situations, they do not have any meaning at all, and neither do nonlinear tariff objective functions. In such cases, the minimax interpretation leads to an effective solution.
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