Thompson Sampling for Linearly Constrained Bandits


Vidit Saxena, Joakim Jalden, Joseph Gonzalez ;
Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:1999-2009, 2020.


We address multi-armed bandits (MAB) where the objective is to maximize the cumulative reward under a probabilistic linear constraint. For a few real-world instances of this problem, constrained extensions of the well-known Thompson Sampling (TS) heuristic have recently been proposed. However, finite-time analysis of constrained TS is challenging; as a result, only O( sqrt( T ) ) bounds on the cumulative reward loss (i.e., the regret) are available. In this paper, we describe LinConTS, a TS-based algorithm for bandits that place a linear constraint on the probability of earning a reward in every round. We show that for LinConTS, the regret as well as the cumulative constraint violations are upper bounded by O( log ( T ) ). We develop a proof technique that relies on careful analysis of the dual problem and combine it with recent theoretical work on unconstrained TS. Through numerical experiments on two real-world datasets, we demonstrate that LinConTS outperforms an asymptotically optimal upper confidence bound (UCB) scheme in terms of simultaneously minimizing the regret and the violation.

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