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Sequential sampling to myopically maximize the expected value of information

Author: Chick, Stephen ; Branke, Jürgen ; Schmidt, ChristianINSEAD Area: Technology and Operations ManagementIn: INFORMS Journal on Computing, vol. 22, no. 1, winter 2010 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 71-80.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask us for this itemAbstract: Statistical selection procedures are used to select the best of a finite set of alternatives, where "best" is defined in terms of each alternative's unknown expected value, and the expected values are inferred through statistical sampling. One effective approach, which is based on a Bayesian probability model for the unknown mean performance of each alternative, allocates samples based on maximizing an approximation to the expected value of information (EVI) from those samples. The approximations include asymptotic and probabilistic approximations. This paper derives sampling allocations that avoid most of those approximations to the EVI, but entails sequential myopic sampling from a single alternative per stage of sampling. We demonstrate empirically that the benefits of reducing the number of approximations in the previous algorithms is typically outweighed by the deleterious effects of a sequential one-step myopic allocation when more than a few dozen samples are allocated. Theory clarifies the derivation of selection procedures that are based on the EVI
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Statistical selection procedures are used to select the best of a finite set of alternatives, where "best" is defined in terms of each alternative's unknown expected value, and the expected values are inferred through statistical sampling. One effective approach, which is based on a Bayesian probability model for the unknown mean performance of each alternative, allocates samples based on maximizing an approximation to the expected value of information (EVI) from those samples. The approximations include asymptotic and probabilistic approximations. This paper derives sampling allocations that avoid most of those approximations to the EVI, but entails sequential myopic sampling from a single alternative per stage of sampling. We demonstrate empirically that the benefits of reducing the number of approximations in the previous algorithms is typically outweighed by the deleterious effects of a sequential one-step myopic allocation when more than a few dozen samples are allocated. Theory clarifies the derivation of selection procedures that are based on the EVI

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