First-order regret bounds for combinatorial semi-bandits

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Gergely Neu ;
Proceedings of The 28th Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 40:1360-1375, 2015.

Abstract

We consider the problem of online combinatorial optimization under semi-bandit feedback, where a learner has to repeatedly pick actions from a combinatorial decision set in order to minimize the total losses associated with its decisions. After making each decision, the learner observes the losses associated with its action, but not other losses. For this problem, there are several learning algorithms that guarantee that the learner’s expected regret grows as \widetildeO(\sqrtT) with the number of rounds T. In this paper, we propose an algorithm that improves this scaling to \widetildeO(\sqrtL_T^*), where L_T^* is the total loss of the best action. Our algorithm is among the first to achieve such guarantees in a partial-feedback scheme, and the first one to do so in a combinatorial setting.

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