Bellman equation tells us what is the value of an action according to an action policy. The value of an action is the present reward/payoff plus the discounted future possible payoffs.

Future payoffs/rewards are discounted because, in a stochastic process, we are uncertain about the future. In a deterministic process, there shouldn’t be a discount rate. (maybe, even in that case, there should be if the “One dollar today is more valuable than one dollar tomorrow” rule applies).

This is similar to the discount cash flow way of analysing the value of an asset. Maybe we could say that the DCF is a specialization/application of the Bellman Equation?

TODO: add equation here

Resources:

- See “Bellman Equation” https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/basilico/files/laibson_notes_2013_0.pdf
- Bellman Equation Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellman_equation#Example

*Note to self:*
Interesting that this has application in both Computer Science and Economics. The connection between this and DCF was striking!