WHAT IS DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING? Essentially, dynamic programming is the process of taking a complex problem and breaking it into simpler steps. Operations researchers created a computer program to help more effectively disperse emergency response vehicles across a coverage area. 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.