Dynamic programming is a method of solving problems, which is used in computer science, mathematics and economics. Using this method, a complex problem is split into simpler problems, which are then solved. At the end, the solutions of the simpler problems are used to find the solution of the initial problem. Dynamic programming can be used in the cases where it is possible to split a problem into many smaller problems, which are all quite similar. Richard Bellman, an US mathematician first used the term in the 1940s, when he wanted to solve problems in the field of Control theory. He also stated what is known as Bellman's Principle of Optimality today:
An optimal policy has the property that whatever the initial state and initial decision are, the remaining decisions must constitute an optimal policy with regard to the state resulting from the first decision.
– Bellman, 1957
- R.Bellman,On the Theory of Dynamic Programming,Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1952 August; 38(8): 716–719.