Notes on Optimal Stopping


Status: Just getting started studying this.




Conjecture: The most common applications of optimal stopping algos are similar to the Secretary Problem.


That problem basically asks "When do we stop evaluating interviewees?"  and is equivalent to a whole lot of more interesting things, such as "When do we stop evaluating employment offers?"


Some solutions are known that offer at least a 33% chance of getting the right answer, such as:


  1. You have N applicants, and e is the log number e
  2. Reject the first N/e candidates  
  3. After that, stop at the first applicant that is better than every applicant so far.


Of course, that is an oversimplification and leaves a lot of considerations out.


Wikipedia Clickhole References:


Read through these stopping when you can no longer grok the math (optimal! ;) and you will have a good overview:


Optimal Stopping

Stopping Rule

Secretary Problem

Odds Algorithm