Reducing Exploration of Dying Arms in Mortal Bandits
Proceedings of The 35th Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence Conference, PMLR 115:156-163, 2020.
Mortal bandits have proven to be extremely useful for providing news article recommendations, running automated online advertising campaigns, and for other applications where the set of available options changes over time. Previous work on this problem showed how to regulate exploration of new arms when they have recently appeared, but they do not adapt when the arms are about to disappear. Since in most applications we can determine either exactly or approximately when arms will disappear, we can leverage this information to improve performance: we should not be exploring arms that are about to disappear. We provide adaptations of algorithms, regret bounds, and experiments for this study, showing a clear benefit from regulating greed (exploration/exploitation) for arms that will soon disappear. We illustrate numerical performance on the Yahoo! Front Page Today Module User Click Log Dataset.