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# Autoregressive Bandits

*Proceedings of The 27th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 238:937-945, 2024.

#### Abstract

Autoregressive processes naturally arise in a large variety of real-world scenarios, including stock markets, sales forecasting, weather prediction, advertising, and pricing. When facing a sequential decision-making problem in such a context, the temporal dependence between consecutive observations should be properly accounted for guaranteeing convergence to the optimal policy. In this work, we propose a novel online learning setting, namely, Autoregressive Bandits (ARBs), in which the observed reward is governed by an autoregressive process of order $k$, whose parameters depend on the chosen action. We show that, under mild assumptions on the reward process, the optimal policy can be conveniently computed. Then, we devise a new optimistic regret minimization algorithm, namely, AutoRegressive Upper Confidence Bound (AR-UCB), that suffers sublinear regret of order $\tilde{O} ( \frac{(k+1)^{3/2}\sqrt{nT}}{(1-\Gamma)^2} )$, where $T$ is the optimization horizon, $n$ is the number of actions, and $\Gamma < 1$ is a stability index of the process. Finally, we empirically validate our algorithm, illustrating its advantages w.r.t. bandit baselines and its robustness to misspecification of key parameters.