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Consider the problem of a learning mechanism (robot, or algorithm) attempting to locate a point on a line.The mechanism interacts with a random "Oracle" ("Enviroriment") which essentially informs it, possibly erroneously, which way it should move. This problem is a generalization of the "Deterministic Point Location Problem" studied by Baeza-Yates et al. . The first reported paper to solve this problem  presented a solution which operated in a discrefized space. In this paper we present a new scheme by which the point can be learnt using a combination of various learning principles and utilizes the generalized philosophy of Bentley and Yao's unbounded binary search algorithm [151. The heart of the strategy involves performing a controlled random walk on the underlying space and then intelligently pruning the space using an adaptive tertiary search. The overall learning scheme is shown to be e-optimal. As in the case of [141 the application of the solution in non-linear optimization has been alluded to. Our strategy can be utilized to determine the best pararneter to be used in an optimization module.
Date of Conference: 15-15 Nov. 1996