Bayati Graduate School of Business , Stanford University Title : Online Decision Making with High - Dimensional Covariates


Growing availability of data has enabled decision-makers to tailor choices at the individual level. This involves learning a model of decision rewards conditional on individual-specific covariates or features. Recently, contextual bandits have been introduced as a framework to study these online decision-making problems. However, when the space of features is high-dimensional, existing literature only considers situations where features are generated in an adversarial fashion that leads to highly conservative performance guarantees–regret bounds that scale by √ n where n is the number of samples. Motivated by medical decision-making problems where stochastic features are more realistic, we introduce a new algorithm that relies on two sequentially updated LASSO estimators. One estimator (with a low bias) is used when we are confident about its accuracy, otherwise a more biased (but potentially more accurate) estimator is used. We prove that our algorithm achieves a regret of order s2 [log n]2+s2 [log n] [log p] where p is the dimension of the features and s is the number of relevant features. The key step in our analysis is proving a new oracle inequality that guarantees the convergence of the LASSO estimator despite the non-i.i.d. data induced by the bandit policy. We also provide a new analysis of the low-dimensional setting that improves existing bounds by a factor p. We illustrate the practical relevance of the proposed algorithm by evaluating it on a warfarin dosing problem. A patient’s optimal warfarin dosage depends on the patient’s genetic profile and medical records; incorrect initial dosage may result in adverse consequences such as stroke or bleeding. We show that our algorithm outperforms existing bandit methods as well as physicians to correctly dose a majority of patients. Based on joint work with Hamsa Bastani [1].

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Bayati2016BayatiGS, title={Bayati Graduate School of Business , Stanford University Title : Online Decision Making with High - Dimensional Covariates}, author={Mohsen Bayati}, year={2016} }