Learning with Abandonment


Sven Schmit, Ramesh Johari ;
Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 80:4509-4517, 2018.


Consider a platform that wants to learn a personalized policy for each user, but the platform faces the risk of a user abandoning the platform if they are dissatisfied with the actions of the platform. For example, a platform is interested in personalizing the number of newsletters it sends, but faces the risk that the user unsubscribes forever. We propose a general thresholded learning model for scenarios like this, and discuss the structure of optimal policies. We describe salient features of optimal personalization algorithms and how feedback the platform receives impacts the results. Furthermore, we investigate how the platform can efficiently learn the heterogeneity across users by interacting with a population and provide performance guarantees.

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