, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 539-549
Date: 11 Jan 2008

Optimal discrete search with imperfect specificity

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Abstract

A target is hidden in one of several possible locations, and the objective is to find the target as fast as possible. One common measure of effectiveness for the search process is the expected time of the search. This type of search optimization problem has been addressed and solved in the literature for the case where the searcher has imperfect sensitivity (possible false negative results), but perfect specificity (no false positive detections). In this paper, which is motivated by recent military and homeland security search situations, we extend the results to the case where the search is subject to false positive detections.