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Adaptive A/B Test on Networks with Cluster Structures

Yang Liu · Yifan Zhou · Ping Li · Feifang Hu



Units in online A/B tests are often involved in social networks. Thus, their outcomes may depend on the treatment of their neighbors. Many of such networks exhibit certain cluster structures allowing the use of these features in the design to reduce the bias from network interference. When the average treatment effect (ATE) is considered from the individual perspective, conditions for the valid estimation restrict the use of these features in the design. We show that such restrictions can be alleviated if the ATE from the cluster perspective is considered. Using an illustrative example, we further show that the weights employed by the Horvitz-Thompson estimator may not appropriately accommodate the network structure, and purely relying on graph-cluster randomization may generate very unbalanced cluster-treated structures across the treatment arms. The measures of such structures for one cluster may depend on the treatment of other clusters and pose a great challenge for the design of A/B tests. To address these issues, we propose a rerandomized-adaptive randomization to balance the clusters and a cluster-adjusted estimator to alleviate the problem of the weights. Numerical studies are conducted to demonstrate the usage of the proposed procedure.

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