This paper presents an approach for providing optimal access to multiple resources combined to a virtual resource through an information retrieval agent. The key design decisions of this agent are:
- source to use
- how long to wait for responses
- how to merge the results (ranking)
The main goal of this research is to determine the optimal termination time for the search (T).
Utility The authors use a similar utility model as Montgomery et. al but model the error term epsilon (representing all uncertainties associated with predicting utility) using a normal distribution with mean of 0 and a standard deviation 1.
- Kehoe et al.  show that consumers have significant costs associated with waiting.