Dynamic programming has long been applied to numerous areas in mat- matics, science, engineering, business, medicine, information systems, b- mathematics, arti?cial intelligence, among others. Applications of dynamic programming have increased as recent advances have been made in areas such as neural networks, data mining, soft computing, and other areas of com- tational intelligence. The value of dynamic programming formulations and means to obtain their computational solutions has never been greater. This book describes the use of dynamic programming as a computational tool to solve discrete optimization problems. (1) We ?rst formulate large classes of discrete optimization problems in dynamic programming terms, speci?cally by deriving the dynamic progr- ming functional equations (DPFEs) that solve these problems. A text-based language, gDPS, for expressing these DPFEs is introduced. gDPS may be regarded as a high-level speci?cation language, not a conventional procedural computer programming language, but which can be used to obtain numerical solutions. (2)Wethende?neandexaminepropertiesofBellmannets, aclassofPetri nets that serves both as a formal theoretical model of dynamic programming problems, and as an internal computer data structure representation of the DPFEs that solve these problems. (3)Wealsodescribethedesign, implementation, anduseofasoftwaretool, calledDP2PN2Solver, for solving DPFEs. DP2PN2Solver may be regarded as a program generator, whose input is a DPFE, expressed in the input spec- cation language gDPS and internally represented as a Bellman net, and whose output is its numerical solution that is produced indirectly by the generation of solver code, which when executed yields the desired solution."
The purpose of this book is to provide readers with an introduction to the very active field of integer programming and network models. The idea is to cover the main parts of the field without being too detailed or too technical. As a matter of fact, we found it somewhat surprising that most--especially newer---books are strongly algorithmically oriented. In contrast, the main emphasis of this book is on models rather than methods. This focus expresses our view that methods are tools to solve actual problems and not ends in themselves. As such, graduate (and with some omissions, undergraduate) students may find this book helpful in their studies as will practitioners who would like to get acquainted with a field or use this text as a refresher. This premise has resulted in a coverage that omits material that is standard fare in other books, whereas it covers topics that are only infrequently found elsewhere. There are some, yet relatively few, prerequisites for the reader. Most material that is required for the understanding of more than one chapter is presented in one of the four chapters of the introductory part, which reviews the main results in linear programming, the analysis of algorithms, graphs and networks, and dynamic programming, respectively. Readers who are familiar with the issues involved can safely skip that part. The three main parts of the book rely on intuitive reasoning and examples, whenever practical, instead of theorems and proofs.
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