Two-Target Algorithms for Infinite-Armed Bandits with Bernoulli Rewards

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)

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Thomas Bonald, Alexandre Proutiere


We consider an infinite-armed bandit problem with Bernoulli rewards. The mean rewards are independent, uniformly distributed over $[0,1]$. Rewards 0 and 1 are referred to as a success and a failure, respectively. We propose a novel algorithm where the decision to exploit any arm is based on two successive targets, namely, the total number of successes until the first failure and the first $m$ failures, respectively, where $m$ is a fixed parameter. This two-target algorithm achieves a long-term average regret in $\sqrt{2n}$ for a large parameter $m$ and a known time horizon $n$. This regret is optimal and strictly less than the regret achieved by the best known algorithms, which is in $2\sqrt{n}$. The results are extended to any mean-reward distribution whose support contains 1 and to unknown time horizons. Numerical experiments show the performance of the algorithm for finite time horizons.