A Last Switch Dependent Analysis of Satiation and Seasonality in Bandits

Pierre Laforgue · Giulia Clerici · Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi · Ran Gilad-Bachrach

[ Abstract ]
Tue 29 Mar 1 a.m. PDT — 2:30 a.m. PDT


Motivated by the fact that humans like some level of unpredictability or novelty, and might therefore get quickly bored when interacting with a stationary policy, we introduce a novel non-stationary bandit problem, where the expected reward of an arm is fully determined by the time elapsed since the arm last took part in a switch of actions. Our model generalizes previous notions of delay-dependent rewards, and also relaxes most assumptions on the reward function. This enables the modeling of phenomena such as progressive satiation and periodic behaviours. Building upon the Combinatorial Semi-Bandits (CSB) framework, we design an algorithm and prove a bound on its regret with respect to the optimal non-stationary policy (which is NP-hard to compute). Similarly to previous works, our regret analysis is based on defining and solving an appropriate trade-off between approximation and estimation. Preliminary experiments confirm the superiority of our algorithm over both the oracle greedy approach and a vanilla CSB solver.

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