Pursuit-Evasion Without Regret, with an Application to Trading

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Lili Dworkin, Michael Kearns, Yuriy Nevmyvaka ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):1521-1529, 2014.

Abstract

We propose a state-based variant of the classical online learning problem of tracking the best expert. In our setting, the actions of the algorithm and experts correspond to local moves through a continuous and bounded state space. At each step, Nature chooses payoffs as a function of each player’s current position and action. Our model therefore integrates the problem of prediction with expert advice with the stateful formalisms of reinforcement learning. Traditional no-regret learning approaches no longer apply, but we propose a simple algorithm that provably achieves no-regret when the state space is any convex Euclidean region. Our algorithm combines techniques from online learning with results from the literature on pursuit-evasion games. We describe a quantitative trading application in which the convex region captures inventory risk constraints, and local moves limit market impact. Using historical market data, we show experimentally that our algorithm has a strong advantage over classic no-regret approaches.

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