Ph.D. Preliminary Oral Exam: Guanyu Nie

Guanyu Nie
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 2:00pm
Event Type: 

A Framework for Adapting Offline Algorithms to Solve Combinatorial Multi-Armed Bandit Problems with Bandit Feedback

We investigate the problem of stochastic, combinatorial multi-armed bandits where the learner only has access to bandit feedback and the reward function can be non-linear. We provide a general framework for adapting discrete offline approximation algorithms into sublinear regret with provable guarantees. The framework only requires the offline algorithms to be robust to small errors in function evaluation. The adaptation procedure does not even require explicit knowledge of the offline approximation algorithm— the offline algorithm can be used as black box subroutine. To demonstrate the utility of the proposed framework, the proposed framework is applied to multiple problems in submodular maximization, adapting approximation algorithms for cardinality and for knapsack constraints. The new CMAB algorithms for knapsack constraints outperform a full-bandit method developed for the adversarial setting in experiments with real-world data.

Committee: Christopher Quinn (major professor), Pavan Aduri, Samik Basu, Jin Tian and Hongyang Gao

On Campus Location: Atanasoff 223

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