Efficient Linear Bandits through Matrix Sketching


Ilja Kuzborskij, Leonardo Cella, Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi ;
Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, PMLR 89:177-185, 2019.


We prove that two popular linear contextual bandit algorithms, OFUL and Thompson Sampling, can be made efficient using Frequent Directions, a deterministic online sketching technique. More precisely, we show that a sketch of size $m$ allows a $\mathcal{O}(md)$ update time for both algorithms, as opposed to $\Omega(d^2)$ required by their non-sketched versions in general (where $d$ is the dimension of context vectors). This computational speedup is accompanied by regret bounds of order $(1+\varepsilon_m)^{3/2}d\sqrt{T}$ for OFUL and of order $\big((1+\varepsilon_m)d\big)^{3/2}\sqrt{T}$ for Thompson Sampling, where $\varepsilon_m$ is bounded by the sum of the tail eigenvalues not covered by the sketch. In particular, when the selected contexts span a subspace of dimension at most $m$, our algorithms have a regret bound matching that of their slower, non-sketched counterparts. Experiments on real-world datasets corroborate our theoretical results.

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