Robust Stochastic Linear Contextual Bandits Under Adversarial Attacks

QIN DING · Cho-Jui Hsieh · James Sharpnack


Stochastic linear contextual bandit algorithms have substantial applications in practice, such as recommender systems, online advertising, clinical trials, etc. Recent works show that optimal bandit algorithms are vulnerable to adversarial attacks and can fail completely in the presence of attacks. Existing robust bandit algorithms only work for the non-contextual setting under the attack of rewards and cannot improve the robustness in the general and popular contextual bandit environment. In addition, none of the existing methods can defend against attacked context. In this work, we provide the first robust bandit algorithm for stochastic linear contextual bandit setting under a fully adaptive and omniscient attack with sub-linear regret. Our algorithm not only works under the attack of rewards, but also under attacked context. Moreover, it does not need any information about the attack budget or the particular form of the attack. We provide theoretical guarantees for our proposed algorithm and show by experiments that our proposed algorithm improves the robustness against various kinds of popular attacks.

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