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Corruption-Robust Algorithms with Uncertainty Weighting for Nonlinear Contextual Bandits and Markov Decision Processes

Chenlu Ye · Wei Xiong · Quanquan Gu · Tong Zhang

Exhibit Hall 1 #328
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Abstract: Despite the significant interest and progress in reinforcement learning (RL) problems with adversarial corruption, current works are either confined to the linear setting or lead to an undesired $\tilde{\mathcal O}(\sqrt{T}\zeta)$ regret bound, where $T$ is the number of rounds and $\zeta$ is the total amount of corruption. In this paper, we consider contextual bandits with general function approximation and propose a computationally efficient algorithm to achieve a regret of $\tilde{\mathcal O}(\sqrt{T}+\zeta)$. The proposed algorithm relies on the recently developed uncertainty-weighted least-squares regression from linear contextual bandits (He et al., 2022) and a new weighted estimator of uncertainty for the general function class. In contrast to the existing analysis for the sum of uncertainty that is heavily based on the linear structure, we develop a novel technique to control the sum of weighted uncertainty, thus establishing the final regret bound. We then generalize our algorithm to the episodic MDP and first achieve an additive dependence on the corruption level $\zeta$ in the scenario of general function approximation. Notably, our algorithms achieve regret bounds that either nearly match the lower bound or improve the performance of existing methods for all the corruption levels in both known and unknown $\zeta$ cases.

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