International Statistical Review

Stochastic Optimization: a Review

Journal Article

Summary

We review three leading stochastic optimization methods—simulated annealing, genetic algorithms, and tabu search. In each case we analyze the method, give the exact algorithm, detail advantages and disadvantages, and summarize the literature on optimal values of the inputs. As a motivating example we describe the solution—using Bayesian decision theory, via maximization of expected utility—of a variable selection problem in generalized linear models, which arises in the cost‐effective construction of a patient sickness‐at‐admission scale as part of an effort to measure quality of hospital care.

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