Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Data-Driven Online Model Selection With Regret Guarantees

Chris Dann · Claudio Gentile · Aldo Pacchiano

MR1 & MR2 - Number 43


We consider model selection for sequential decision making in stochastic environments with bandit feedback, where a meta-learner has at its disposal a pool of base learners, and decides on the fly which action to take based on the policies recommended by each base learner. Model selection is performed by regret balancing but, unlike the recent literature on this subject, we do not assume any prior knowledge about the base learners like candidate regret guarantees; instead, we uncover these quantities in a data-driven manner. The meta-learner is therefore able to leverage the realized regret incurred by each base learner for the learning environment at hand (as opposed to the expected regret), and single out the best such regret. We design two model selection algorithms operating with this more ambitious notion of regret and, besides proving model selection guarantees via regret balancing, we experimentally demonstrate the compelling practical benefits of dealing with actual regrets instead of candidate regret bounds.

Live content is unavailable. Log in and register to view live content