Preface
This volume contains papers presented at the conference "Strategies for Se-
quential Search and Selection in Real Time" held June 21 to June 27, 1990 at the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts. The conference was one
of a series of Summer Research Conferences sponsored jointly by the American
Mathematical Society, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the Society
for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and supported by a grant from the Na-
tional Science Foundation. The organizing committee consisted of Thomas S.
Ferguson, Co-Chair; Stephen M. Samuels, Co-Chair; Boris A. Berezovskiy, F.
Thomas Bruss, and Lawrence A. Shepp.
The conference focused on problems related to sequential observation of ran-
dom variables and selection of actions in real time. There has been a continuing
development in both breadth and depth of the research in several areas that
contribute to the subject. The conference was truly international in character,
having brought together 47 leading researchers from 12 countries (US, Canada,
UK, Netherlands, Belgium, W. Germany, Poland, Finland, USSR, Israel, Japan
and New Zealand).
Several survey talks and many research talks contributed to a clarification of
the contemporary research in the field explored at the conference. Eighteen of
them are included in this volume, all in final form, organized somewhat loosely
into four broad topics. The first five papers deal with selection problems in
which the reward or cost depends on the observations only through their ranks;
such problems have come to be called secretary problems. They are followed
by papers on sequential search, bandit problems and scheduling. Next are four
papers on multicriteria and competitive problems. The last topic includes four
papers on prophet inequalities and one each on records and extreme values.
The success of a conference depends on many things, but foremost on the
quality of the scientific program. To give a more complete description of the
program, it is appropriate to mention other speakers at the conference whose
names do not appear as authors of papers in this volume. The keynote address
was given by Herbert Robbins in his usual clear and entertaining style. Yuri
Baryshnikov spoke on the number of optimal elements in multicriteria problems,
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