WHAT IS DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING? Essentially, dynamic programming is the process of taking a complex problem and breaking it into simpler steps. One of the most important steps in this research was to figure out what is called the value function (the way to measure a single decision's impact on what happens afterward). For ambulance placement, the researchers attempted to find out the most effective places to station emergency vehicles so that they can best serve the anticipated needs of the community.
ABOUT COMPUTER MODELING: Computer modeling is used to simulate the structure and appearance of both static objects, such as building architecture, and dynamic situations, such as a football game. Computer models can enable the user to test the consequences of choices and decisions. They can provide cutaway views that let you see aspects of an object that would be invisible in the real artifact, as well as visualization tools that can provide many different perspectives. Physical models that reproduce behavior are limited by the physics of the world, while computer models have much looser bounds. Computer models enable you to run companies and civilizations, fight battles, play football games and evolve new species.
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.