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A cost-effective structure for a large network is a multilevel hierarchy consisting of a backbone network and a family of local access networks. The backbone network is generally a distributed network, while the local access networks are typically centralized systems. In special cases, the network may consist primarily of either centralized or distributed portions. This paper discusses topological design problems for such systems, including the concentrator location problem, the terminal assignment problem, the terminal layout problem (the constrained minimum spanning tree problem), the distributed network topological layout problem, and the backbone node location problem. Recent algorithm research, including exact and heuristic problem solutions, are described and computational experience is given. Finally, open problems in large-scale topological design are reported.