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The trade-off between the cost of acquiring and processing data, and uncertainty due to a lack of data is fundamental in machine learning. A basic instance of this trade-off is the problem of deciding when to make noisy and costly observations of a discrete-time Gaussian random walk, so as to minimise the posterior variance plus observation costs. We present the first proof that a simple policy, which observes when the posterior variance exceeds a threshold, is optimal for this problem. ThearXiv:1703.10010v1 fatcat:sylkjxwe5jca3jq2nonuxuao44