Summary: The Dynamic and Stochastic Knapsack Problem (DSKP) is defined as follows. Items arrive according to a Poisson process in time. Each item has a demand (size) for a limited resource (the knapsack) and an associated reward. The resource requirements and rewards are jointly distributed according to a known probability distribution and become known at the time of the item’s arrival. Items can be either accepted or rejected. If an item is accepted, the item’s reward is received; and if an item is rejected, a penalty is paid. The problem can be stopped at any time, at which time a terminal value is received, which may depend on the amount of resource remaining. Given the waiting cost and the time horizon of the problem, the objective is to determine the optimal policy that maximizes the expected value (rewards minus costs) accumulated. Assuming that all items have equal sizes but random rewards, optimal solutions are derived for a variety of cost structures and time horizons, and recursive algorithms for computing them are developed. Optimal closed-form solutions are obtained for special cases. The DSKP has applications in freight transportation, in scheduling of batch processors, in selling of assets, and in selection of investment projects.

##### MSC:

90C27 | Combinatorial optimization |

90C15 | Stochastic programming |