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Stochastic Objective Functions

Excerpt

A deterministic function returns the exact same value each time it is given the same inputs. What is the value of 3 times 4 (in base 10 arithmetic)? Whether last year or next year, whether in Barbados or on the Moon, whether by human or by computer, the answer is 12. By contrast a stochastic function does not return the same value when given supposedly identical conditions. If I roll this cubical die, what value will appear? Even if I do it, in one setting in the same location, trying my best to be repeatable, the answer is a 1 or a 2 or a … or a 6. This stochastic function returns one of 6 values with an equal probability. It does not consistently return the same value.

A deterministic function returns the exact same value each time it is given the same inputs. What is the value of 3 times 4 (in base 10 arithmetic)? Whether last year or next year, whether in Barbados or on the Moon, whether by human or by computer, the answer is 12. By contrast a stochastic function does not return the same value when given supposedly identical conditions. If I roll this cubical die, what value will appear? Even if I do it, in one setting in the same location, trying my best to be repeatable, the answer is a 1 or a 2 or a … or a 6. This stochastic function returns one of 6 values with an equal probability. It does not consistently return the same value.

24.1Introduction
24.2Method Summary for Optimizing Stochastic Functions
24.3What Value to Report?
24.4Application Examples
24.5Takeaway
24.6Exercises
24.1Introduction
24.2Method Summary for Optimizing Stochastic Functions
24.3What Value to Report?
24.4Application Examples
24.5Takeaway
24.6Exercises

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