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A sequential procedure for multihypothesis testing

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2 Author(s)
Baum, C.W. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Clemson Univ., SC, USA ; Veeravalli, V.V.

The sequential testing of more than two hypotheses has important applications in direct-sequence spread spectrum signal acquisition, multiple-resolution-element radar, and other areas. A useful sequential test which we term the MSPRT is studied in this paper. The test is shown to be a generalization of the sequential probability ratio test. Under Bayesian assumptions, it is argued that the MSPRT approximates the much more complicated optimal test when error probabilities are small and expected stopping times are large. Bounds on error probabilities are derived, and asymptotic expressions for the stopping time and error probabilities are given. A design procedure is presented for determining the parameters of the MSPRT. Two examples involving Gaussian densities are included, and comparisons are made between simulation results and asymptotic expressions. Comparisons with Bayesian fixed sample size tests are also made, and it is found that the MSPRT requires two to three times fewer samples on average

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 6 )