Replicable BanditsDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023ICLR 2023 posterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Interactive Learning, Reproducible Learning, Bandit Algorithms
TL;DR: We provide a definition of reproducibility in the context of stochastic bandit problems and we develop algorithms with low regret in various environments.
Abstract: In this paper, we introduce the notion of replicable policies in the context of stochastic bandits, one of the canonical problems in interactive learning. A policy in the bandit environment is called replicable if it pulls, with high probability, the exact same sequence of arms in two different and independent executions (i.e., under independent reward realizations). We show that not only do replicable policies exist, but also they achieve almost the same optimal (non-replicable) regret bounds in terms of the time horizon. More specifically, in the stochastic multi-armed bandits setting, we develop a policy with an optimal problem-dependent regret bound whose dependence on the replicability parameter is also optimal. Similarly, for stochastic linear bandits (with finitely and infinitely many arms) we develop replicable policies that achieve the best-known problem-independent regret bounds with an optimal dependency on the replicability parameter. Our results show that even though randomization is crucial for the exploration-exploitation trade-off, an optimal balance can still be achieved while pulling the exact same arms in two different rounds of executions.
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