J. Neil Bearden
Associate Professor of Decision Sciences
Herbert Simon introduced the notion of satisficing to explain how boundedly rational agents might approach difficult sequential decision problems. His satisficing decision makers were offered as an alternative to optimizers, who have impressive computational capacities which allow them to maximize. There is no reason, however, why satisficers can not do their task optimally.In this paper, the author presents a simplified sequential search problem for a satisficing decision maker, and show how to compute its optimal satisficing search policies. These findings demonstrate that satisficing, when done properly, can be a quite effective search policy.