Neural Contextual Bandits with UCB-based Exploration

Jul 12, 2020

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We study the stochastic contextual bandit problem, where the reward is generated from an unknown bounded function with additive noise. We propose the NeuralUCB algorithm, which leverages the representation power of deep neural networks and uses a neural network-based random feature mapping to construct an upper confidence bound (UCB) of reward for efficient exploration. We prove that, under mild assumptions, NeuralUCB achieves Õ(√(T)) regret, where T is the number of rounds. To the best of our knowledge, our algorithm is the first neural network-based contextual bandit algorithm with near-optimal regret guarantee. We also show the algorithm is empirically competitive against representative baselines in a number of benchmarks.

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About ICML 2020

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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