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Optimal regret algorithm for Pseudo-1d Bandit Convex Optimization
Aadirupa Saha · Nagarajan Natarajan · Praneeth Netrapalli · Prateek Jain

Tue Jul 20 09:00 PM -- 11:00 PM (PDT) @ Virtual
We study online learning with bandit feedback (i.e. learner has access to only zeroth-order oracle) where cost/reward functions $\f_t$ admit a "pseudo-1d" structure, i.e. $\f_t(\w) = \loss_t(\pred_t(\w))$ where the output of $\pred_t$ is one-dimensional. At each round, the learner observes context $\x_t$, plays prediction $\pred_t(\w_t; \x_t)$ (e.g. $\pred_t(\cdot)=\langle \x_t, \cdot\rangle$) for some $\w_t \in \mathbb{R}^d$ and observes loss $\loss_t(\pred_t(\w_t))$ where $\loss_t$ is a convex Lipschitz-continuous function. The goal is to minimize the standard regret metric. This pseudo-1d bandit convex optimization problem (\SBCO) arises frequently in domains such as online decision-making or parameter-tuning in large systems. For this problem, we first show a regret lower bound of $\min(\sqrt{dT}, T^{3/4})$ for any algorithm, where $T$ is the number of rounds. We propose a new algorithm \sbcalg that combines randomized online gradient descent with a kernelized exponential weights method to exploit the pseudo-1d structure effectively, guaranteeing the {\em optimal} regret bound mentioned above, up to additional logarithmic factors. In contrast, applying state-of-the-art online convex optimization methods leads to $\tilde{O}\left(\min\left(d^{9.5}\sqrt{T},\sqrt{d}T^{3/4}\right)\right)$ regret, that is significantly suboptimal in terms of $d$.

Author Information

Aadirupa Saha (Microsoft Research)

Bio: Aadirupa Saha is currently a visiting faculty at Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC). She obtained her PhD from the Department of Computer Science, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, advised by Aditya Gopalan and Chiranjib Bhattacharyya. She spent two years at Microsoft Research New York City as a postdoctoral researcher. During her PhD, Aadirupa interned at Microsoft Research, Bangalore, Inria, Paris, and Google AI, Mountain View. Her research interests include Bandits, Reinforcement Learning, Optimization, Learning theory, Algorithms. She has organized various workshops, tutorials and also served as a reviewer in top ML conferences. Research Interests: Machine Learning Theory (specifically Online Learning, Bandits, Reinforcement Learning), Optimization, Game Theory, Algorithms. She is recently interested in exploring ML problems at the intersection of Fairness, Privacy, Game theory and Mechanism design.

Nagarajan Natarajan (Microsoft Research)
Praneeth Netrapalli (Microsoft Research)
Prateek Jain (Google Research)

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