Verification Based Solution for Structured MAB Problems

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

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Zohar S. Karnin


We consider the problem of finding the best arm in a stochastic Mutli-armed Bandit (MAB) game and propose a general framework based on verification that applies to multiple well-motivated generalizations of the classic MAB problem. In these generalizations, additional structure is known in advance, causing the task of verifying the optimality of a candidate to be easier than discovering the best arm. Our results are focused on the scenario where the failure probability $\delta$ must be very low; we essentially show that in this high confidence regime, identifying the best arm is as easy as the task of verification. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework by applying it, and improving the state-of-the art results in the problems of: Linear bandits, Dueling bandits with the Condorcet assumption, Copeland dueling bandits, Unimodal bandits and Graphical bandits.