On Kernelized Multi-armed Bandits


Sayak Ray Chowdhury, Aditya Gopalan ;
Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 70:844-853, 2017.


We consider the stochastic bandit problem with a continuous set of arms, with the expected reward function over the arms assumed to be fixed but unknown. We provide two new Gaussian process-based algorithms for continuous bandit optimization – Improved GP-UCB (IGP-UCB) and GP-Thomson sampling (GP-TS), and derive corresponding regret bounds. Specifically, the bounds hold when the expected reward function belongs to the reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) that naturally corresponds to a Gaussian process kernel used as input by the algorithms. Along the way, we derive a new self-normalized concentration inequality for vector-valued martingales of arbitrary, possibly infinite, dimension. Finally, experimental evaluation and comparisons to existing algorithms on synthetic and real-world environments are carried out that highlight the favourable gains of the proposed strategies in many cases.

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