On Context-Dependent Clustering of Bandits

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Claudio Gentile, Shuai Li, Purushottam Kar, Alexandros Karatzoglou, Giovanni Zappella, Evans Etrue ;
Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 70:1253-1262, 2017.

Abstract

We investigate a novel cluster-of-bandit algorithm CAB for collaborative recommendation tasks that implements the underlying feedback sharing mechanism by estimating user neighborhoods in a context-dependent manner. CAB makes sharp departures from the state of the art by incorporating collaborative effects into inference, as well as learning processes in a manner that seamlessly interleaves explore-exploit tradeoffs and collaborative steps. We prove regret bounds for CAB under various data-dependent assumptions which exhibit a crisp dependence on the expected number of clusters over the users, a natural measure of the statistical difficulty of the learning task. Experiments on production and real-world datasets show that CAB offers significantly increased prediction performance against a representative pool of state-of-the-art methods.

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