Multi-task Representation Learning for Pure Exploration in Bilinear Bandits

Subhojyoti Mukherjee · Qiaomin Xie · Josiah Hanna · Robert Nowak

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1819
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Tue 12 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST


We study multi-task representation learning for the problem of pure exploration in bilinear bandits. In bilinear bandits, an action takes theform of a pair of arms from two different entity types and the reward is a bilinear function of the known feature vectors of the arms. In the \textit{multi-task bilinear bandit problem}, we aim to find optimal actions for multiple tasks that share a common low-dimensional linear representation. The objective is to leverage this characteristic to expedite the process of identifying the best pair of arms for all tasks. We propose the algorithm GOBLIN that uses an experimental design approach to optimize sample allocations for learning the global representation as well as minimize the number of samples needed to identify the optimal pair of arms in individual tasks. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to give sample complexity analysis for pure exploration in bilinear bandits with shared representation. Our results demonstrate that by learning the shared representation across tasks, we achieve significantly improved sample complexity compared to the traditional approach of solving tasks independently.

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