Best-of-K-bandits

Max Simchowitz, Kevin Jamieson, Benjamin Recht
; 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 49:1440-1489, 2016.

Abstract

This paper studies the Best-of-K Bandit game: At each time the player chooses a subset S among all N-choose-K possible options and observes reward max(X(i) : i in S) where X is a random vector drawn from a joint distribution. The objective is to identify the subset that achieves the highest expected reward with high probability using as few queries as possible. We present distribution-dependent lower bounds based on a particular construction which force a learner to consider all N-choose-K subsets, and match naive extensions of known upper bounds in the bandit setting obtained by treating each subset as a separate arm. Nevertheless, we present evidence that exhaustive search may be avoided for certain, favorable distributions because the influence of high-order order correlations may be dominated by lower order statistics. Finally, we present an algorithm and analysis for independent arms, which mitigates the surprising non-trivial information occlusion that occurs due to only observing the max in the subset. This may inform strategies for more general dependent measures, and we complement these result with independent-arm lower bounds.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v49-simchowitz16, title = {Best-of-K-bandits}, author = {Max Simchowitz and Kevin Jamieson and Benjamin Recht}, booktitle = {29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory}, pages = {1440--1489}, year = {2016}, editor = {Vitaly Feldman and Alexander Rakhlin and Ohad Shamir}, volume = {49}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, address = {Columbia University, New York, New York, USA}, month = {23--26 Jun}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/simchowitz16.pdf}, url = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/simchowitz16.html}, abstract = {This paper studies the Best-of-K Bandit game: At each time the player chooses a subset S among all N-choose-K possible options and observes reward max(X(i) : i in S) where X is a random vector drawn from a joint distribution. The objective is to identify the subset that achieves the highest expected reward with high probability using as few queries as possible. We present distribution-dependent lower bounds based on a particular construction which force a learner to consider all N-choose-K subsets, and match naive extensions of known upper bounds in the bandit setting obtained by treating each subset as a separate arm. Nevertheless, we present evidence that exhaustive search may be avoided for certain, favorable distributions because the influence of high-order order correlations may be dominated by lower order statistics. Finally, we present an algorithm and analysis for independent arms, which mitigates the surprising non-trivial information occlusion that occurs due to only observing the max in the subset. This may inform strategies for more general dependent measures, and we complement these result with independent-arm lower bounds. } }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T Best-of-K-bandits %A Max Simchowitz %A Kevin Jamieson %A Benjamin Recht %B 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2016 %E Vitaly Feldman %E Alexander Rakhlin %E Ohad Shamir %F pmlr-v49-simchowitz16 %I PMLR %J Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %P 1440--1489 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press %V 49 %W PMLR %X This paper studies the Best-of-K Bandit game: At each time the player chooses a subset S among all N-choose-K possible options and observes reward max(X(i) : i in S) where X is a random vector drawn from a joint distribution. The objective is to identify the subset that achieves the highest expected reward with high probability using as few queries as possible. We present distribution-dependent lower bounds based on a particular construction which force a learner to consider all N-choose-K subsets, and match naive extensions of known upper bounds in the bandit setting obtained by treating each subset as a separate arm. Nevertheless, we present evidence that exhaustive search may be avoided for certain, favorable distributions because the influence of high-order order correlations may be dominated by lower order statistics. Finally, we present an algorithm and analysis for independent arms, which mitigates the surprising non-trivial information occlusion that occurs due to only observing the max in the subset. This may inform strategies for more general dependent measures, and we complement these result with independent-arm lower bounds.
RIS
TY - CPAPER TI - Best-of-K-bandits AU - Max Simchowitz AU - Kevin Jamieson AU - Benjamin Recht BT - 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory PY - 2016/06/06 DA - 2016/06/06 ED - Vitaly Feldman ED - Alexander Rakhlin ED - Ohad Shamir ID - pmlr-v49-simchowitz16 PB - PMLR SP - 1440 DP - PMLR EP - 1489 L1 - http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/simchowitz16.pdf UR - http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/simchowitz16.html AB - This paper studies the Best-of-K Bandit game: At each time the player chooses a subset S among all N-choose-K possible options and observes reward max(X(i) : i in S) where X is a random vector drawn from a joint distribution. The objective is to identify the subset that achieves the highest expected reward with high probability using as few queries as possible. We present distribution-dependent lower bounds based on a particular construction which force a learner to consider all N-choose-K subsets, and match naive extensions of known upper bounds in the bandit setting obtained by treating each subset as a separate arm. Nevertheless, we present evidence that exhaustive search may be avoided for certain, favorable distributions because the influence of high-order order correlations may be dominated by lower order statistics. Finally, we present an algorithm and analysis for independent arms, which mitigates the surprising non-trivial information occlusion that occurs due to only observing the max in the subset. This may inform strategies for more general dependent measures, and we complement these result with independent-arm lower bounds. ER -
APA
Simchowitz, M., Jamieson, K. & Recht, B.. (2016). Best-of-K-bandits. 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, in PMLR 49:1440-1489

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