A dual control problem and application to marketing

Gila E. Fruchter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The general approach to adaptive and dual control is to formulate an optimal stochastic control problem. However, for such an approach only mathematical representations of the solution are available which allow little insight into the structure of the optimal controller. Here, an alternative deterministic approach is presented based upon determining a control in which a disturbance attenuation function remains bounded for all allowable (L2 functions) disturbances. The disturbance attenuation function is composed of the ratio of an L2 function of the desired outputs over an L2 function of the disturbance inputs. This disturbance attenuation problem is converted to a differential game. For this game, the optimal control law, in a closed-form, is obtained by performing a minmax operation with respect to a quadratic cost function subjected to a bilinear system. The resulting controller is time-varying and depends nonlinearly on the state and the parameter estimates vector, and on an associated Riccati-type matrix. We provide insights into the structure of the resulting dual controller and illustrate the method by two examples. One of the examples is an application to marketing, to set promotional spending of a company, considering that the effect of promotional effort on sales is unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive control
  • Dual control
  • Estimation
  • Marketing
  • Promotion


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