Dying Experts: Efficient Algorithms with Optimal Regret Bounds

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Hamid Shayestehmanesh, Sajjad Azami, Nishant A. Mehta


We study a variant of decision-theoretic online learning in which the set of experts that are available to Learner can shrink over time. This is a restricted version of the well-studied sleeping experts problem, itself a generalization of the fundamental game of prediction with expert advice. Similar to many works in this direction, our benchmark is the ranking regret. Various results suggest that achieving optimal regret in the fully adversarial sleeping experts problem is computationally hard. This motivates our relaxation where any expert that goes to sleep will never again wake up. We call this setting "dying experts" and study it in two different cases: the case where the learner knows the order in which the experts will die and the case where the learner does not. In both cases, we provide matching upper and lower bounds on the ranking regret in the fully adversarial setting. Furthermore, we present new, computationally efficient algorithms that obtain our optimal upper bounds.