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A Contextual Research Program
John Langford

A theory of contextual interventions has developed and matured to the point where contextual bandits can be routinely deployed to solve appropriate problems. A more general theory of contextual interventions in complex settings appears desirable and is under development leading to developments in two new areas:

1) Sequential decision making around deviations from existing solutions
2) Global exploration strategies for arbitrary contexts.

Author Information

John Langford (Microsoft Research)

John Langford is a machine learning research scientist, a field which he says "is shifting from an academic discipline to an industrial tool". He is the author of the weblog hunch.net and the principal developer of Vowpal Wabbit. John works at Microsoft Research New York, of which he was one of the founding members, and was previously affiliated with Yahoo! Research, Toyota Technological Institute, and IBM's Watson Research Center. He studied Physics and Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology, earning a double bachelor's degree in 1997, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. He was the program co-chair for the 2012 International Conference on Machine Learning.

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