The multi-armed bandit problem with covariates

Vianney Perchet, Philippe Rigollet
2013 Annals of Statistics  
We consider a multi-armed bandit problem in a setting where each arm produces a noisy reward realization which depends on an observable random covariate. As opposed to the traditional static multi-armed bandit problem, this setting allows for dynamically changing rewards that better describe applications where side information is available. We adopt a nonparametric model where the expected rewards are smooth functions of the covariate and where the hardness of the problem is captured by a
more » ... captured by a margin parameter. To maximize the expected cumulative reward, we introduce a policy called Adaptively Binned Successive Elimination (abse) that adaptively decomposes the global problem into suitably "localized" static bandit problems. This policy constructs an adaptive partition using a variant of the Successive Elimination (se) policy. Our results include sharper regret bounds for the se policy in a static bandit problem and minimax optimal regret bounds for the abse policy in the dynamic problem.
doi:10.1214/13-aos1101 fatcat:xkufqt4y4zevja5gnryby7pak4