Title: Parallelizing Thompson Sampling

Authors: Amin Karbasi, Vahab Mirrokni, Mohammad Shadravan


How can we make use of information parallelism in online decision making problems while efficiently balancing the exploration-exploitation trade-off? In this paper, we introduce a batch Thompson Sampling framework for two canonical online decision making problems, namely, stochastic multi-arm bandit and linear contextual bandit with finitely many arms. Over a time horizon T , our batch Thompson Sampling policy achieves the same (asymptotic) regret bound of a fully sequential one while carrying out only O(log T ) batch queries. To achieve this exponential reduction, i.e., reducing the number of interactions from T to O(logT), our batch policy dy- namically determines the duration of each batch in order to balance the exploration-exploitation trade-off. We also demonstrate experimentally that dynamic batch allocation dramatically out- performs natural baselines such as static batch allocations.

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