Technical note—a stochastic assignment problem with unknown eligibility probabilities

Sheldon M. Ross, Gideon Weiss, Zhengyu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consider n initially empty boxes, numbered 1 through n. Balls arrive sequentially. Each ball has a binary n-vector attached to it, with the interpretation that the ball is eligible to be put in box i if component i of its vector is equal to 1. An arriving ball can be put in any empty box for which it is eligible. Assuming that components of the vector are independent Bernoulli random variables with initially unknown probabilities, our primary interest is to compare several policies to determine which leads to a stochastically smaller number of observed balls until all boxes are filled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalOperations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 INFORMS


  • Probability
  • Sequential assignment problem
  • Stochastic model application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Technical note—a stochastic assignment problem with unknown eligibility probabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this