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Stationary Multi Choice Bandit Problems




This note shows that the optimal choice of k simultaneous experiments in a stationary multi-armed bandit problem can be characterized in terms of the Gittins index of each arm. The index characterization remains equally valid after the introduction of switching costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Vaimaki, 1999. "Stationary Multi Choice Bandit Problems," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1240, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1240
    Note: CFP 1022.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sundaram, Rangarajan K, 1994. "Switching Costs and the Gittins Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 687-694, May.
    2. Weitzman, Martin L, 1979. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 641-654, May.
    3. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sundaram, Rangarajan K, 1992. "Denumerable-Armed Bandits," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1071-1096, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hart E. Posen & Dirk Martignoni & Daniel A. Levinthal, 2013. "E Pluribus Unum: Organizational Size and the Efficacy of Learning," DRUID Working Papers 13-09, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    2. Brenner, Thomas & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2006. "On the behavior of proposers in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 617-631, December.
    3. Jean-Michel Benkert & Igor Letina & Georg Nöldeke, 2017. "Optimal search from multiple distributions with infinite horizon," ECON - Working Papers 262, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Dec 2017.
    4. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2015. "Keeping your options open," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 47-68.
    5. Keller, Godfrey & Oldale, Alison, 2003. "Branching bandits: a sequential search process with correlated pay-offs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 302-315, December.
    6. Alejandro Francetich, 2014. "Managing Multiple Research Projects," Working Papers 516, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

    More about this item


    multi-armed bandits; Gittins index; Stationary bandits; Job search;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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