Online Convex Optimization with Continuous Switching ConstraintDownload PDF

Published: 09 Nov 2021, Last Modified: 05 May 2023NeurIPS 2021 PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Online convex optimization, Continuous switching constraint
Abstract: In many sequential decision making applications, the change of decision would bring an additional cost, such as the wear-and-tear cost associated with changing server status. To control the switching cost, we introduce the problem of online convex optimization with continuous switching constraint, where the goal is to achieve a small regret given a budget on the \emph{overall} switching cost. We first investigate the hardness of the problem, and provide a lower bound of order $\Omega(\sqrt{T})$ when the switching cost budget $S=\Omega(\sqrt{T})$, and $\Omega(\min\{\frac{T}{S},T\})$ when $S=O(\sqrt{T})$, where $T$ is the time horizon. The essential idea is to carefully design an adaptive adversary, who can adjust the loss function according to the cumulative switching cost of the player incurred so far based on the orthogonal technique. We then develop a simple gradient-based algorithm which enjoys the minimax optimal regret bound. Finally, we show that, for strongly convex functions, the regret bound can be improved to $O(\log T)$ for $S=\Omega(\log T)$, and $O(\min\{T/\exp(S)+S,T\})$ for $S=O(\log T)$.
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TL;DR: We propose the problem of OCO with continuous switching constraint, and provide minimax analysis.
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