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# Online Learning with Feedback Graphs: The True Shape of Regret

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:17260-17282, 2023.

#### Abstract

Sequential learning with feedback graphs is a natural extension of the multi-armed bandit problem where the problem is equipped with an underlying graph structure that provides additional information - playing an action reveals the losses of all the neighbors of the action. This problem was introduced by Mannor & Shamir (2011) and received considerable attention in recent years. It is generally stated in the literature that the minimax regret rate for this problem is of order $\sqrt{\alpha T}$, where $\alpha$ is the independence number of the graph, and $T$ is the time horizon. However, this is proven only when the number of rounds $T$ is larger than $\alpha^3$, which poses a significant restriction for the usability of this result in large graphs. In this paper, we define a new quantity $R^*$, called the

*problem complexity*, and prove that the minimax regret is proportional to $R^*$ for any graph and time horizon $T$. Introducing an intricate exploration strategy, we define the Exp3-EX algorithm that achieves the minimax optimal regret bound and becomes the first provably optimal algorithm for this setting, even if $T$ is smaller than $\alpha^3$.