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Anytime Model Selection in Linear Bandits

Parnian Kassraie · Nicolas Emmenegger · Andreas Krause · Aldo Pacchiano

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #924
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[ Paper [ Slides [ Poster [ OpenReview
Wed 13 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST

Abstract: Model selection in the context of bandit optimization is a challenging problem, as it requires balancing exploration and exploitation not only for action selection, but also for model selection. One natural approach is to rely on online learning algorithms that treat different models as experts. Existing methods, however, scale poorly ($\mathrm{poly}M$) with the number of models $M$ in terms of their regret.Our key insight is that, for model selection in linear bandits, we can emulate full-information feedback to the online learner with a favorable bias-variance trade-off. This allows us to develop ALEXP, which has an exponentially improved ($\log M$) dependence on $M$ for its regret.ALEXP has anytime guarantees on its regret, and neither requires knowledge of the horizon $n$, nor relies on an initial purely exploratory stage.Our approach utilizes a novel time-uniform analysis of the Lasso, establishing a new connection between online learning and high-dimensional statistics.

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