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Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper IDD7-S5-T1.1
Paper Title The Postdoc Problem under the Mallows Model
Authors Xujun Liu, Olgica Milenkovic, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
Session D7-S5-T1: Combinatorics
Chaired Session: Tuesday, 20 July, 23:20 - 23:40
Engagement Session: Tuesday, 20 July, 23:40 - 00:00
Abstract The well-known secretary problem in sequential analysis and optimal stopping theory asks one to maximize the probability of finding the optimal candidate in a sequentially examined list under the constraint that accept/reject decisions are made in real-time. The problem is related to practical questions arising in online search, data streaming, daily purchase modeling and multi-arm bandit mechanisms. An extension is the so-called postdoc problem, for which one aims to identify the second-best candidate with highest possible probability of success. We solve the postdoc problem for the nontraditional setting where the candidates are not presented uniformly at random but rather according to permutations drawn from the Mallows distribution.