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Online combinatorial optimization with stochastic decision sets and adversarial losses
Gergely Neu · Michal Valko

Tue Dec 09 04:00 PM -- 08:59 PM (PST) @ Level 2, room 210D

Most work on sequential learning assumes a fixed set of actions that are available all the time. However, in practice, actions can consist of picking subsets of readings from sensors that may break from time to time, road segments that can be blocked or goods that are out of stock. In this paper we study learning algorithms that are able to deal with stochastic availability of such unreliable composite actions. We propose and analyze algorithms based on the Follow-The-Perturbed-Leader prediction method for several learning settings differing in the feedback provided to the learner. Our algorithms rely on a novel loss estimation technique that we call Counting Asleep Times. We deliver regret bounds for our algorithms for the previously studied full information and (semi-)bandit settings, as well as a natural middle point between the two that we call the restricted information setting. A special consequence of our results is a significant improvement of the best known performance guarantees achieved by an efficient algorithm for the sleeping bandit problem with stochastic availability. Finally, we evaluate our algorithms empirically and show their improvement over the known approaches.

Author Information

Gergely Neu (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Michal Valko (DeepMind)
Michal Valko

Michal is a machine learning scientist in DeepMind Paris, tenured researcher at Inria, and the lecturer of the master course Graphs in Machine Learning at l'ENS Paris-Saclay. Michal is primarily interested in designing algorithms that would require as little human supervision as possible. This means 1) reducing the “intelligence” that humans need to input into the system and 2) minimizing the data that humans need to spend inspecting, classifying, or “tuning” the algorithms. That is why he is working on methods and settings that are able to deal with minimal feedback, such as deep reinforcement learning, bandit algorithms, or self-supervised learning. Michal is actively working on represenation learning and building worlds models. He is also working on deep (reinforcement) learning algorithm that have some theoretical underpinning. He has also worked on sequential algorithms with structured decisions where exploiting the structure leads to provably faster learning. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh under the supervision of Miloš Hauskrecht and after was a postdoc of Rémi Munos before taking a permanent position at Inria in 2012.

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