Improved Algorithms for Linear Stochastic Bandits

author: Yasin Abbasi-Yadkori, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta
published: Sept. 6, 2012,   recorded: December 2011,   views: 3719


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We improve the theoretical analysis and empirical performance of algorithms for the stochastic multi-armed bandit problem and the linear stochastic multi-armed bandit problem. In particular, we show that a simple modification of Auer’s UCB algorithm (Auer, 2002) achieves with high probability constant regret. More importantly, we modify and, consequently, improve the analysis of the algorithm for the for linear stochastic bandit problem studied by Auer (2002), Dani et al. (2008), Rusmevichientong and Tsitsiklis (2010), Li et al. (2010). Our modification improves the regret bound by a logarithmic factor, though experiments show a vast improvement. In both cases, the improvement stems from the construction of smaller confidence sets. For their construction we use a novel tail inequality for vector-valued martingales.

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Download slides icon Download slides: nips2011_abbasi_yadkori_stochastic_01.pdf (165.3 KB)

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