An Efficient Algorithm for Deep Stochastic Contextual Bandits

04/12/2021 ∙ by Tan Zhu, et al. ∙ 0

In stochastic contextual bandit (SCB) problems, an agent selects an action based on certain observed context to maximize the cumulative reward over iterations. Recently there have been a few studies using a deep neural network (DNN) to predict the expected reward for an action, and the DNN is trained by a stochastic gradient based method. However, convergence analysis has been greatly ignored to examine whether and where these methods converge. In this work, we formulate the SCB that uses a DNN reward function as a non-convex stochastic optimization problem, and design a stage-wise stochastic gradient descent algorithm to optimize the problem and determine the action policy. We prove that with high probability, the action sequence chosen by this algorithm converges to a greedy action policy respecting a local optimal reward function. Extensive experiments have been performed to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithm on multiple real-world datasets.



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