PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 701-708.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.06.009

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Hub and Spoke Network and Its Application in Transportation Geography

WU Qitao1,2,3, ZHANG Hong'ou2, CHEN Fenggui1,2,3, YE Yuyao2   

  1. 1. South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, CAS, Guangzhou 510301, China;
    2. Guangzhou Institute of Geography,Guangzhou 510070, China;
    3. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2009-07-01 Revised:2010-02-01 Online:2010-06-25 Published:2010-06-25


After the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, USA, more and more airline companies in USA adopted the hub-and-spoke systems. Flights from different origins to the same destination or from the same origin to different destinations were consolidated via intermediate nodes instead of direct interlink. Compared to traditional many-to-many network, these configurations reduce and simplify network construction costs, centralize commodity handling and sorting, and allow carriers to take advantage of scale economies through consolidation of flows. O'Kelly presented the first recognized mathematical formulation for a p-hub location problem by studying airline passenger networks in 1987, and the wide application of hub and spoke network motivated the geographers' study on it. The hub location problem is concerned with locating hub facilities and allocating demand nodes to hubs in order to route the traffic between origin-destination pairs. In fact, hub location problem is a complex mixture of location analysis and spatial interaction theory. The hub location problem can be classified to four fundamental types of discrete facility location problems: the p-median problem, the hub location problem with fixed costs, the p-center problem and the hub covering problems. The hub and spoke network was mainly used by airline company, so the research also focused on the application to airlines. Moreover, it can also be applied in maritime transport system, telecommunication systems, post service or rail systems and so on. Few researches on hub and spoke can be found in Chinese literature, so the model constructing and application are the main subjects for further research.

Key words: geographical application, hub and spoke network, hub location problem