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Linear Bandit Algorithms with Sublinear Time Complexity
Shuo Yang · Tongzheng Ren · Sanjay Shakkottai · Eric Price · Inderjit Dhillon · Sujay Sanghavi
We propose two linear bandits algorithms with per-step complexity sublinear in the number of arms $K$. The algorithms are designed for applications where the arm set is extremely large and slowly changing. Our key realization is that choosing an arm reduces to a maximum inner product search (MIPS) problem, which can be solved approximately without breaking regret guarantees. Existing approximate MIPS solvers run in sublinear time. We extend those solvers and present theoretical guarantees for online learning problems, where adaptivity (i.e., a later step depends on the feedback in previous steps) becomes a unique challenge. We then explicitly characterize the tradeoff between the per-step complexity and regret. For sufficiently large $K$, our algorithms have sublinear per-step complexity and $\widetilde O(\sqrt{T})$ regret. Empirically, we evaluate our proposed algorithms in a synthetic environment and a real-world online movie recommendation problem. Our proposed algorithms can deliver a more than 72 times speedup compared to the linear time baselines while retaining similar regret.

Author Information

Shuo Yang (University of Texas at Austin)
Tongzheng Ren (UT Austin / Google Brain)
Sanjay Shakkottai (University of Texas at Austin)
Eric Price (UT-Austin)
Inderjit Dhillon (UT Austin & Amazon)

Inderjit Dhillon is the Gottesman Family Centennial Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at UT Austin, where he is also the Director of the ICES Center for Big Data Analytics. His main research interests are in big data, machine learning, network analysis, linear algebra and optimization. He received his B.Tech. degree from IIT Bombay, and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Inderjit has received several awards, including the ICES Distinguished Research Award, the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize, the Moncrief Grand Challenge Award, the SIAM Linear Algebra Prize, the University Research Excellence Award, and the NSF Career Award. He has published over 160 journal and conference papers, and has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Machine Learning Research, the IEEE Transactions of Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Foundations and Trends in Machine Learning and the SIAM Journal for Matrix Analysis and Applications. Inderjit is an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, a SIAM Fellow and an AAAS Fellow.

Sujay Sanghavi (UT Austin)

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