Problem: Insufficient memory error returned when creating a Network Analyst service area or solve operation


When attempting to create a service area in Network Analyst or execute a solve operation, a generic error is returned.

For example:

"Error: There is insufficient available memory to make allocation polygons."


The issue is caused by insufficient virtual memory allocated during the service area creation or during the solve process.

Solution or Workaround

Ensure the machine used to create a Network Analyst service area meets the minimum requirements for ArcMap. For more information, refer to the following document, ArcGIS Help: ArcGIS 10.3.x for Desktop system requirements.

Additionally, since the issue is more likely to occur when analyzing huge datasets, apply hierarchies to reduce the processing time in Network Analyst.

To use hierarchies, check the Use Hierarchy check box in the Layer Properties dialog box in the extension. This option allows the extension to break down the data by defining smaller areas before proceeding to divide the area to even smaller locations.

Ensure the network dataset has a hierarchy attribute. For more information about analysis using hierarchies, refer to the following document, ArcGIS Help: Adding a hierarchy to a network dataset.

When hierarchy is used, network elements are assigned with rank or order. For example, a street network may be ranked as having at least three classes, such as primary, secondary, or local. These classes can be used on the source features to create a hierarchy attribute on the network dataset. 

Since higher-order roads are simpler and more predictable to traverse on as opposed to lower-order roads, the solver tends to opt for higher order edges analysis. Due to this calculation, in general, hierarchy takes shorter time to complete an analysis carried out on a large network. For more information, refer to the following document, ArcGIS Help: About network analysis with hierarchy. 

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