A Tutorial on Optimal Control Theory

INFOR, Vol. 19, No. 4, p. 279-291, November 1981

14 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2009 Last revised: 22 Mar 2014

See all articles by Suresh Sethi

Suresh Sethi

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management

Gerald L. Thompson

Carnegie Mellon University

Date Written: November 1, 1981

Abstract

Management science applications frequently involve problems of controlling continuous time dynamic systems, that is, systems which evolve over time. Optimal control theory, a relatively new branch of mathematics, determines the optimal way to control such a dynamic system. The purpose of this tutorial paper is to provide an elementary introduction to optimal control theory and to illustrate it by formulating a simple example. A reader who has covered this tutorial should be able to read most of this special issue of INFOR which contains articles applying optimal control theory to the solution of management science problems.

Keywords: Optimal control, dynamic systems, Maximum principle, economic interpretation

JEL Classification: C61

Suggested Citation

Sethi, Suresh and Thompson, Gerald L., A Tutorial on Optimal Control Theory (November 1, 1981). INFOR, Vol. 19, No. 4, p. 279-291, November 1981. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1422060

Suresh Sethi (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management ( email )

800 W. Campbell Road, SM30
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
United States

Gerald L. Thompson

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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