In mathematics, computer science, economics, and bioinformatics, dynamic programming is a method for solving a complex problem by breaking it down into a collection of simpler subproblems. It is applicable to problems exhibiting the properties of overlapping subproblems and optimal substructure (described below). When applicable, the method takes far less time than naive methods that don’t take advantage of the subproblem overlap (like depth-first search). In order to solve a given problem, using a dynamic programming approach, we need to solve different parts of the problem (subproblems), then combine the solutions of the subproblems to reach an overall solution. Often when using a more naive method, many of the subproblems are generated and solved many times. The dynamic programming approach seeks to solve each subproblem only once, thus reducing the number of computations: once the solution to a given subproblem has been computed, it is stored or “memo-ized”: the next time the same solution is needed, it is simply looked up. This approach is especially useful when the number of repeating subproblems grows exponentially as a function of the size of the input. Dynamic programming algorithms are used for optimization (for example, finding the shortest path between two points, or the fastest way to multiply many matrices). A dynamic programming algorithm will examine the previously solved subproblems and will combine their solutions to give the best solution for the given problem. The alternatives are many, such as using a greedy algorithm, which picks the locally optimal choice at each branch in the road. The locally optimal choice may be a poor choice for the overall solution. While a greedy algorithm does not guarantee an optimal solution, it is often faster to calculate. Fortunately, some greedy algorithms (such as minimum spanning trees) are proven to lead to the optimal solution. … Dynamic Programming

# If you did not already know: “Dynamic Programming”

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