# Questions tagged [multi-armed-bandits]

For questions related to the multi-armed bandit (MAB) problem, in which a fixed limited set of resources must be allocated between competing (alternative) choices in a way that maximizes their expected gain, when each choice's properties are only partially known at the time of allocation.

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### How do I recognise a bandit problem?

I'm having difficulty understanding the distinction between a bandit problem and a non-bandit problem. An example of the bandit problem is an agent playing $n$ slot machines with the goal of ...
• 335
1 vote
203 views

### When discounted MAB is useful?

Many of multi-armed bandit(MAB) algorithms are used when the total reward is the sum of all rewards. However, in RL, the discounted reward is mainly used. Why is the discounted reward not prevailing ...
• 481
2k views

### Are bandits considered an RL approach?

If a research paper uses multi-armed bandits (either in their standard or contextual form) to solve a particular task, can we say that they solved this task using a reinforcement learning approach? Or ...
• 722
1 vote
561 views

### How do we reach at the formula for UCB action-selection in multi-armed bandit problem?

I came across the formula for Upper Confidence Bound Action Selection (while studying multi-armed bandit problem), which looks like:  A_t \dot{=} \operatorname{argmax}_a \left[ Q_t(a) + c \sqrt{ \...
1 vote
74 views

### How do I determine the optimal policy in a bandit problem with missing contexts?

Suppose I learn an optimal policy $\pi(a|c)$ for a contextual multi-armed bandit problem, where the context $c$ is a composite of multiple context variables $c = c_1, c_2, c_3$. For example, the ...
350 views

### Which solutions could I use to solve a multi-armed "multi-bandit" problem?

Problem I have 66 slot machines. For each of them, I have 7 possible actions/arms to choose from. At each trial, I have to choose one of 7 actions for each and every one of the 66 slots. The reward ...
• 145
380 views

### It is possible to solve a problem with continuous action spaces and no states with reinforcement learning?

I want to use Reinforcement Learning to optimize the distribution of energy for a peak shaving problem given by a thermodynamical simulation. However, I am not sure how to proceed as the action space ...
• 145
690 views

### How to implement a contextual reinforcement learning model?

In a reinforcement learning model, states depend on the previous actions chosen. In the case in which some of the states -but not all- are fully independent of the actions -but still obviously ...
• 246
1 vote
572 views

### Why is it useful in some applications to use features that are shared by all arms?

In Li et al. (2010)'s highly cited paper, they talk about LinUCB with hybrid linear models in Section 3.2. They motivate this by saying In many applications including ours, it is helpful to use ...
• 153
1 vote
351 views

### How can I incorporate domain knowledge to choose actions in the case of large action spaces in multi-armed bandits?

Suppose one is using a multi-armed bandit, and one has relatively few "pulls" (i.e. timesteps) relative to the action set. For example, maybe there are 200 timesteps and 100 possible actions....
• 153
1 vote
34 views

### Name of a multiarmed bandit with only some levers available

In order to model a card game, as an exercise, I was thinking of an elementary setting as a multiarmed bandit, each lever being the distribution of expected rewards of a specific card. But, of course,...
• 51
89 views

### Programming a bandit to optimize donations

I'm developing a multi-armed bandit which learns the best information to display to persuade someone to donate to charity. Suppose I have treatments A, B, C, D (which are each one paragraph of text). ...
• 153