Everyday I (and probably everyone else) am faced with decisions that we have to make, some of them are small, some of them are big. At least for me there are two aspects governing the decisions I want to make. I want to make the best decision and I am making the decisions without knowing everything. This is exactly what stochastic optimization and what I work with in my daily job.

But now I have found a really good example from real life which I am facing often and which have some really interesting characteristics. It involves something I know that several people have been thinking about when walking in a city: How can we come from point A to point B in the most effective way.

I wont be getting into details of how to formulate any of this in a mathematical setting. You can find lots of text books on that. I just want to introduce you to some of the concepts and ideas of it. Continue reading →