Online Learning with Feedback Graphs: Beyond Bandits


Noga Alon, Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi, Ofer Dekel, Tomer Koren ;
Proceedings of The 28th Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 40:23-35, 2015.


We study a general class of online learning problems where the feedback is specified by a graph. This class includes online prediction with expert advice and the multi-armed bandit problem, but also several learning problems where the online player does not necessarily observe his own loss. We analyze how the structure of the feedback graph controls the inherent difficulty of the induced T-round learning problem. Specifically, we show that any feedback graph belongs to one of three classes: \emphstrongly observable graphs, \emphweakly observable graphs, and \emphunobservable graphs. We prove that the first class induces learning problems with \widetildeΘ(α^1/2 T^1/2) minimax regret, where αis the independence number of the underlying graph; the second class induces problems with \widetildeΘ(δ^1/3T^2/3) minimax regret, where δis the domination number of a certain portion of the graph; and the third class induces problems with linear minimax regret. Our results subsume much of the previous work on learning with feedback graphs and reveal new connections to partial monitoring games. We also show how the regret is affected if the graphs are allowed to vary with time.

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