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The adaptive optimization of detection thresholds for tracking in clutter is investigated for the probabilistic data association (PDA) filter. Earlier work on this problem by T.E. Fortmann et al. (1985) involved an approximate steady-state analysis of the state error covariance and is only suitable for time-invariant systems. Furthermore, the method requires numerous assumptions and approximations about the error covariance update equation, and uses a cumbersome graphical optimization algorithm. In this work we propose two adaptive schemes for threshold optimization, namely prior and posterior optimization algorithms which minimize the mean-square state estimation error over detection thresholds which depend on data up to the previous and current time-step, respectively. These algorithm are suitable for real-time implementation in time-varying systems. Some simulation results are presented.