Purdue University Graduate School
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Beyond Disagreement-based Learning for Contextual Bandits

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posted on 2023-12-12, 20:48 authored by Pinaki Ranjan MohantyPinaki Ranjan Mohanty

While instance-dependent contextual bandits have been previously studied, their analysis
has been exclusively limited to pure disagreement-based learning. This approach lacks a
nuanced understanding of disagreement and treats it in a binary and absolute manner.
In our work, we aim to broaden the analysis of instance-dependent contextual bandits by
studying them under the framework of disagreement-based learning in sub-regions. This
framework allows for a more comprehensive examination of disagreement by considering its
varying degrees across different sub-regions.
To lay the foundation for our analysis, we introduce key ideas and measures widely
studied in the contextual bandit and disagreement-based active learning literature. We
then propose a novel, instance-dependent contextual bandit algorithm for the realizable
case in a transductive setting. Leveraging the ability to observe contexts in advance, our
algorithm employs a sophisticated Linear Programming subroutine to identify and exploit
sub-regions effectively. Next, we provide a series of results tying previously introduced
complexity measures and offer some insightful discussion on them. Finally, we enhance the
existing regret bounds for contextual bandits by integrating the sub-region disagreement
coefficient, thereby showcasing significant improvement in performance against the pure
disagreement-based approach.
In the concluding section of this thesis, we do a brief recap of the work done and suggest
potential future directions for further improving contextual bandit algorithms within the
framework of disagreement-based learning in sub-regions. These directions offer opportuni-
ties for further research and development, aiming to refine and enhance the effectiveness of
contextual bandit algorithms in practical applications.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Computer Science

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Stephen R. Hanneke

Additional Committee Member 2

Paul A. Valiant

Additional Committee Member 3

Bruce A. Craig