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# Learning the Switching Rate by Discretising Bernoulli Sources Online

*Proceedings of the Twelth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 5:432-439, 2009.

#### Abstract

The expert tracking algorithm Fixed-Share depends on a parameter alpha, called the switching rate. If the final number of outcomes $T$ is known in advance, then the switching rate can be learned with regret $\frac{1}{2} \log T + O(1)$ bits. The current fastest method that achieves this, Learn-alpha, is based on optimal discretisation of the Bernoulli distributions into $O(\sqrt{T})$ bins and runs in $(T\sqrt{T})$ time; however the exact locations of these points have to be determined algorithmically. This paper introduces a new discretisation scheme with the same regret bound for known $T$, that specifies the number and positions of the discretisation points explicitly. The scheme is especially useful when $T$ is not known in advance: a new fully online algorithm, Refine-Online, is presented, which runs in $O(T \sqrt{T} \log T)$ time and achieves a regret of $\frac{1}{2} \log 3 \log T + O(\log \log T)$ bits.