SOPS – A Tool to Find Optimal Policies in Stochastic Dynamic Systems
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The task of finding optimal policies in stochastic dynamic systems is challenging. The theory of stochastic dynamic programming (SDP) is quite complex and the available software packages are not intended for non-specialists. Furthermore, SDP is traditionally limited to quite small and well defined problems. Stochastic optimisation in policy space (SOPS) seems to be an attractive alternative, particularly for people with a background in simulation of dynamic systems. However, to date no user friendly software has been available for this method. In this paper we present and demonstrate a new program package for this task. The resulting software allows the user to formulate the model in a well-known simulation program, Powersim Studio 2005. The model is automatically transferred to a standalone program. The SOPS program allows the user to reset model parameters, to specify search criteria, and to study the results of repeated searches for optimal policies.