Particle characteristics affect porosity mainly via three factors: dimensionless particle size distribution, particle shape and absolute particle size, giving various packing systems from the simple coarse spherical particle packing to the complicated fine and nonspherical particle packing. Consequently, the modelling of the relationship between porosity and particle characteristics may be carried out by considering these three factors, either successively or simultaneously. This paper presents a review of the work in this area since the early 1980s. The dependence of porosity on particle size, shape and their distributions is examined from typical examples for different packing systems. The need for further development is also discussed.