The Information Structuralist

The lost art of writing

Posted in Academic Snark, Control, Games and Decisions by mraginsky on July 19, 2011

From the opening paragraph of Herman Chernoff‘s unpublished 1963 memo “Backward induction in dynamic programming” (thanks to Armand Makowski for a scanned copy):

The solution of finite sequence dynamic programming problems involve a backward induction argument, the foundations of which are generally understood hazily. The purpose of this memo is to add some clarification which may be slightly redundant and whose urgency may be something less than vital.

Alas, nobody writes like that anymore.

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2 Responses

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  1. prasadsn said, on July 20, 2011 at 6:22 am

    This is precious! Yeah too bad no one writes this way (and even if they do, it probably never gets published).

  2. […] want to write down some thoughts inspired by Chernoff’s memo on backward induction that may be relevant to feedback information theory and networked control. Some of these points […]


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