Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

*Maximilian Balandat, Walid Krichene, Claire Tomlin, Alexandre Bayen*

We study a general adversarial online learning problem, in which we are given a decision set X' in a reflexive Banach space X and a sequence of reward vectors in the dual space of X. At each iteration, we choose an action from X', based on the observed sequence of previous rewards. Our goal is to minimize regret, defined as the gap between the realized reward and the reward of the best fixed action in hindsight. Using results from infinite dimensional convex analysis, we generalize the method of Dual Averaging (or Follow the Regularized Leader) to our setting and obtain upper bounds on the worst-case regret that generalize many previous results. Under the assumption of uniformly continuous rewards, we obtain explicit regret bounds in a setting where the decision set is the set of probability distributions on a compact metric space S. Importantly, we make no convexity assumptions on either the set S or the reward functions. We also prove a general lower bound on the worst-case regret for any online algorithm. We then apply these results to the problem of learning in repeated two-player zero-sum games on compact metric spaces. In doing so, we first prove that if both players play a Hannan-consistent strategy, then with probability 1 the empirical distributions of play weakly converge to the set of Nash equilibria of the game. We then show that, under mild assumptions, Dual Averaging on the (infinite-dimensional) space of probability distributions indeed achieves Hannan-consistency.

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