Elio M. Ventura

Past Awards

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize: Winner(s)

E. Ventura, "Application of Dynamic Programming to the Control of Stock and to the Calculation of a Maximum Stock Capacity," Operational Research Quarterly, 12, 66-78 (196l).

The Committee regards the Ventura paper as an excellent example of the intelligent and economical use of mathematics to solve an important practical problem. The problem, which involved the expansion of a port facility, was carefully formulated and a rather complicated cost function was developed that took into account the many factors involved. The costs all depended on the way the facility was used. By eliminating cost factors that could be shown to be small, and by introducing a prediction that enabled the major factor to be predicted one period ahead, an extremely simple rule for the optimal use of the facility was developed from what appeared to be a complicated situation. Use of this rule then enabled a decision to be made on the question of expanding the port facility. The Committee agreed with the screeners' views on the clarity of exposition and general excellence of the paper as a combination of practicality and good technique.