Best Arm Identification for Cascading Bandits in the Fixed Confidence Setting

Jul 12, 2020

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We design and analyze CascadeBAI, an algorithm for finding the best set of K items, also called an arm, within the framework of cascading bandits. An upper bound on the time complexity of CascadeBAI is derived by overcoming a crucial analytical challenge, namely, that of probabilistically estimating the amount of available feedback at each step. To do so, we define a new class of random variables (r.v.'s) which we term as left-sided sub-Gaussian r.v.'s; these are r.v.'s whose cumulant generating functions (CGFs) can be bounded by a quadratic only for non-positive arguments of the CGFs. This enables the application of a sufficiently tight Bernstein-type concentration inequality. We show, through the derivation of a lower bound on the time complexity, that the performance of CascadeBAI is optimal in some practical regimes. Finally, extensive numerical simulations corroborate the efficacy of CascadeBAI as well as the tightness of our upper bound on its time complexity.

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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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