Collaborative Linear Bandits with Adversarial Agents: Near-Optimal Regret Bounds

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Aritra Mitra, Arman Adibi, George J. Pappas, Hamed Hassani


We consider a linear stochastic bandit problem involving $M$ agents that can collaborate via a central server to minimize regret. A fraction $\alpha$ of these agents are adversarial and can act arbitrarily, leading to the following tension: while collaboration can potentially reduce regret, it can also disrupt the process of learning due to adversaries. In this work, we provide a fundamental understanding of this tension by designing new algorithms that balance the exploration-exploitation trade-off via carefully constructed robust confidence intervals. We also complement our algorithms with tight analyses. First, we develop a robust collaborative phased elimination algorithm that achieves $\tilde{O}\left(\alpha+ 1/\sqrt{M}\right) \sqrt{dT}$ regret for each good agent; here, $d$ is the model-dimension and $T$ is the horizon. For small $\alpha$, our result thus reveals a clear benefit of collaboration despite adversaries. Using an information-theoretic argument, we then prove a matching lower bound, thereby providing the first set of tight, near-optimal regret bounds for collaborative linear bandits with adversaries. Furthermore, by leveraging recent advances in high-dimensional robust statistics, we significantly extend our algorithmic ideas and results to (i) the generalized linear bandit model that allows for non-linear observation maps; and (ii) the contextual bandit setting that allows for time-varying feature vectors.