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Provably and Practically Efficient Neural Contextual Bandits

Sudeep Salgia

Exhibit Hall 1 #204


We consider the neural contextual bandit problem. In contrast to the existing work which primarily focuses on ReLU neural nets, we consider a general set of smooth activation functions. Under this more general setting, (i) we derive non-asymptotic error bounds on the difference between an overparameterized neural net and its corresponding neural tangent kernel, (ii) we propose an algorithm with a provable sublinear regret bound that is also efficient in the finite regime as demonstrated by empirical studies. The non-asymptotic error bounds may be of broader interests as a tool to establish the relation between the smoothness of the activation functions in neural contextual bandits and the smoothness of the kernels in kernel bandits.

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