NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC OPERATIONS RESEARCH BRANCH
Optimal strategies are investigated for a class of one-dimensional search processes in which the objective is to find a point which is near, but not beyond, a boundary of uncertain location. Problems of this type are encountered in the analysis of mining operations. Upper and lower bounds for the optimal expected payoff are derived, and the optimal search strategies are described explicitly for a large subclass of these processes. Results are obtained by formulating the search as a multistage decision process and using a dynamic programming approach.