An asymptotically optimal solution for contextual bandit problem in adversarial setting
Embargo Lift Date: 2020-05-31
AdvisorKozat, Süleyman Serdar
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We propose online algorithms for sequential learning in the contextual multiarmed bandit setting. Our approach is to partition the context space and then optimally combine all of the possible mappings between the partition regions and the set of bandit arms in a data driven manner. We show that in our approach, the best mapping is able to approximate the best arm selection policy to any desired degree under mild Lipschitz conditions. Therefore, we design our algorithms based on the optimal adaptive combination and asymptotically achieve the performance of the best mapping as well as the best arm selection policy. This optimality is also guaranteed to hold even in adversarial environments since we do not rely on any statistical assumptions regarding the contexts or the loss of the bandit arms. Moreover, we design e cient implementations for our algorithms in various hierarchical partitioning structures such as lexicographical or arbitrary position splitting and binary trees (and several other partitioning examples). For instance, in the case of binary tree partitioning, the computational complexity is only log-linear in the number of regions in the nest partition. In conclusion, we provide signi cant performance improvements by introducing upper bounds (w.r.t. the best arm selection policy) that are mathematically proven to vanish in the average loss per round sense at a faster rate compared to the state-of-theart. Our experimental work extensively covers various scenarios ranging from bandit settings to multi-class classi cation with real and synthetic data. In these experiments, we show that our algorithms are highly superior over the stateof- the-art techniques while maintaining the introduced mathematical guarantees and a computationally decent scalability.