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Distribution systems commonly operate with a radial topology, so all models of optimization problems in these distribution systems should consider radiality in their formulation. This work presents a literature review, a critical analysis, and a proposal for incorporating the radiality constraints in mathematical models of optimization problems for radial distribution systems. The objective is to show that the radiality constraints on such optimization problems can be considered in a simple and efficient way. The reconfiguration and expansion planning problems of distribution systems are used to test and verify the proposed radiality constraints. A generalization of radiality constraints is also examined.