Although, offers aren’t a random distribution… a good agent should be able to help you understand the expected distribution, and you should stop once you get an offer with a greater than 50% probability of being greater than all the remaining offers.

]]>Thanks for this great example of a problem that I always cover in my engineering decision making course. n/e is the approximately optimal policy as n gets large. For small n, it is not hard to find the optimal number: for six alternatives, one should consider at least the first three.

For those who want to learn more, see, for example, Chun, Young H., “Sequential search and selection problem under uncertainty,” Decision Sciences, Volume 31, Number 3, pages 627-648, 2000, at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-5915.2000.tb00937.x/abstract

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