Kernel Methods for Cooperative Contextual Bandits

Jul 12, 2020

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Cooperative multi-agent decision making involves a group of agents collectively solving individual learning problems, while communicating over a (sparse) network with delays. In this paper, we consider the kernelised contextual bandit problem, where the reward obtained by an agent is an arbitrary linear function of the contexts' images in the related reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS), and a group of agents must cooperate to collectively solve their unique decision problems. We propose Coop-KernelUCB that provides near-optimal bounds on the per-agent regret in this setting, and is both computationally and communicatively efficient. For special cases of the cooperative problem, we also provide variants of Coop-KernelUCB that provides optimal per-agent regret. In addition, our algorithm generalizes several existing results in the multi-agent bandit setting. Finally, on a series of both synthetic and real-world multi-agent network benchmarks, our algorithm significantly outperforms existing clustering or consensus-based algorithms, even in the linear setting.

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The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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