Sequential Monte Carlo Bandits

10/04/2013 ∙ by Michael Cherkassky, et al. ∙ 0

In this paper we propose a flexible and efficient framework for handling multi-armed bandits, combining sequential Monte Carlo algorithms with hierarchical Bayesian modeling techniques. The framework naturally encompasses restless bandits, contextual bandits, and other bandit variants under a single inferential model. Despite the model's generality, we propose efficient Monte Carlo algorithms to make inference scalable, based on recent developments in sequential Monte Carlo methods. Through two simulation studies, the framework is shown to outperform other empirical methods, while also naturally scaling to more complex problems for which existing approaches can not cope. Additionally, we successfully apply our framework to online video-based advertising recommendation, and show its increased efficacy as compared to current state of the art bandit algorithms.

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