I am trying to estimate the mean of a more-or-less Gaussian distribution via sampling. I have no prior knowledge about its mean or its variance. Each sample is expensive to obtain. How do I dynamically decide how many samples I need to get a certain level of confidence/accuracy? Alternatively, how do I know when I can stop taking samples?
All the answers to questions like this that I can find seem to presume some knowledge of the variance, but I need to discover that along the way as well. Other are geared towards taking polls, and it's not clear to me (beginner that I am) how that generalizes -- my mean isn't w/in [0,1], etc.
I think this is probably a simple question with a well known answer, but my Google-fu is failing me. Even just telling me what to search for would be helpful.