Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free add-on: code for papers everywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

We consider the problem of \emph{blocked} collaborative bandits where there are multiple users, each with an associated multi-armed bandit problem. These users are grouped into \emph{latent} clusters such that the mean reward vectors of users within the same cluster are identical. Our goal is to design algorithms that maximize the cumulative reward accrued by all the users over time, under the \emph{constraint} that no arm of a user is pulled more than $\mathsf{B}$ times. This problem has been originally considered by \cite{Bresler:2014}, and designing regret-optimal algorithms for it has since remained an open problem. In this work, we propose an algorithm called \texttt{B-LATTICE} (Blocked Latent bAndiTs via maTrIx ComplEtion) that collaborates across users, while simultaneously satisfying the budget constraints, to maximize their cumulative rewards. Theoretically, under certain reasonable assumptions on the latent structure, with $\mathsf{M}$ users, $\mathsf{N}$ arms, $\mathsf{T}$ rounds per user, and $\mathsf{C}=O(1)$ latent clusters, \texttt{B-LATTICE} achieves a per-user regret of $\widetilde{O}(\sqrt{\mathsf{T}(1 + \mathsf{N}\mathsf{M}^{-1})}$ under a budget constraint of $\mathsf{B}=\Theta(\log \mathsf{T})$. These are the first sub-linear regret bounds for this problem, and match the minimax regret bounds when $\mathsf{B}=\mathsf{T}$. Empirically, we demonstrate that our algorithm has superior performance over baselines even when $\mathsf{B}=1$. \texttt{B-LATTICE} runs in phases where in each phase it clusters users into groups and collaborates across users within a group to quickly learn their reward models.

Via

Learning paradigms based purely on offline data as well as those based solely on sequential online learning have been well-studied in the literature. In this paper, we consider combining offline data with online learning, an area less studied but of obvious practical importance. We consider the stochastic $K$-armed bandit problem, where our goal is to identify the arm with the highest mean in the presence of relevant offline data, with confidence $1-\delta$. We conduct a lower bound analysis on policies that provide such $1-\delta$ probabilistic correctness guarantees. We develop algorithms that match the lower bound on sample complexity when $\delta$ is small. Our algorithms are computationally efficient with an average per-sample acquisition cost of $\tilde{O}(K)$, and rely on a careful characterization of the optimality conditions of the lower bound problem.

Via

We develop a re-weighted gradient descent technique for boosting the performance of deep neural networks. Our algorithm involves the importance weighting of data points during each optimization step. Our approach is inspired by distributionally robust optimization with $f$-divergences, which has been known to result in models with improved generalization guarantees. Our re-weighting scheme is simple, computationally efficient, and can be combined with any popular optimization algorithms such as SGD and Adam. Empirically, we demonstrate our approach's superiority on various tasks, including vanilla classification, classification with label imbalance, noisy labels, domain adaptation, and tabular representation learning. Notably, we obtain improvements of +0.7% and +1.44% over SOTA on DomainBed and Tabular benchmarks, respectively. Moreover, our algorithm boosts the performance of BERT on GLUE benchmarks by +1.94%, and ViT on ImageNet-1K by +0.9%. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, indicating its potential for improving performance in diverse domains.

Via

Neural network (NN) compression via techniques such as pruning, quantization requires setting compression hyperparameters (e.g., number of channels to be pruned, bitwidths for quantization) for each layer either manually or via neural architecture search (NAS) which can be computationally expensive. We address this problem by providing an end-to-end technique that optimizes for model's Floating Point Operations (FLOPs) or for on-device latency via a novel $\frac{\ell_1}{\ell_2}$ latency surrogate. Our algorithm is versatile and can be used with many popular compression methods including pruning, low-rank factorization, and quantization. Crucially, it is fast and runs in almost the same amount of time as single model training; which is a significant training speed-up over standard NAS methods. For BERT compression on GLUE fine-tuning tasks, we achieve $50\%$ reduction in FLOPs with only $1\%$ drop in performance. For compressing MobileNetV3 on ImageNet-1K, we achieve $15\%$ reduction in FLOPs, and $11\%$ reduction in on-device latency without drop in accuracy, while still requiring $3\times$ less training compute than SOTA compression techniques. Finally, for transfer learning on smaller datasets, our technique identifies $1.2\times$-$1.4\times$ cheaper architectures than standard MobileNetV3, EfficientNet suite of architectures at almost the same training cost and accuracy.

Via

We study the canonical statistical estimation problem of linear regression from $n$ i.i.d.~examples under $(\varepsilon,\delta)$-differential privacy when some response variables are adversarially corrupted. We propose a variant of the popular differentially private stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD) algorithm with two innovations: a full-batch gradient descent to improve sample complexity and a novel adaptive clipping to guarantee robustness. When there is no adversarial corruption, this algorithm improves upon the existing state-of-the-art approach and achieves a near optimal sample complexity. Under label-corruption, this is the first efficient linear regression algorithm to guarantee both $(\varepsilon,\delta)$-DP and robustness. Synthetic experiments confirm the superiority of our approach.

Via

We consider the problem of latent bandits with cluster structure where there are multiple users, each with an associated multi-armed bandit problem. These users are grouped into \emph{latent} clusters such that the mean reward vectors of users within the same cluster are identical. At each round, a user, selected uniformly at random, pulls an arm and observes a corresponding noisy reward. The goal of the users is to maximize their cumulative rewards. This problem is central to practical recommendation systems and has received wide attention of late \cite{gentile2014online, maillard2014latent}. Now, if each user acts independently, then they would have to explore each arm independently and a regret of $\Omega(\sqrt{\mathsf{MNT}})$ is unavoidable, where $\mathsf{M}, \mathsf{N}$ are the number of arms and users, respectively. Instead, we propose LATTICE (Latent bAndiTs via maTrIx ComplEtion) which allows exploitation of the latent cluster structure to provide the minimax optimal regret of $\widetilde{O}(\sqrt{(\mathsf{M}+\mathsf{N})\mathsf{T}})$, when the number of clusters is $\widetilde{O}(1)$. This is the first algorithm to guarantee such a strong regret bound. LATTICE is based on a careful exploitation of arm information within a cluster while simultaneously clustering users. Furthermore, it is computationally efficient and requires only $O(\log{\mathsf{T}})$ calls to an offline matrix completion oracle across all $\mathsf{T}$ rounds.

Via

In the context of adversarial robustness, a single model does not usually have enough power to defend against all possible adversarial attacks, and as a result, has sub-optimal robustness. Consequently, an emerging line of work has focused on learning an ensemble of neural networks to defend against adversarial attacks. In this work, we take a principled approach towards building robust ensembles. We view this problem from the perspective of margin-boosting and develop an algorithm for learning an ensemble with maximum margin. Through extensive empirical evaluation on benchmark datasets, we show that our algorithm not only outperforms existing ensembling techniques, but also large models trained in an end-to-end fashion. An important byproduct of our work is a margin-maximizing cross-entropy (MCE) loss, which is a better alternative to the standard cross-entropy (CE) loss. Empirically, we show that replacing the CE loss in state-of-the-art adversarial training techniques with our MCE loss leads to significant performance improvement.

Via

Many modern machine learning tasks require models with high tail performance, i.e. high performance over the worst-off samples in the dataset. This problem has been widely studied in fields such as algorithmic fairness, class imbalance, and risk-sensitive decision making. A popular approach to maximize the model's tail performance is to minimize the CVaR (Conditional Value at Risk) loss, which computes the average risk over the tails of the loss. However, for classification tasks where models are evaluated by the zero-one loss, we show that if the classifiers are deterministic, then the minimizer of the average zero-one loss also minimizes the CVaR zero-one loss, suggesting that CVaR loss minimization is not helpful without additional assumptions. We circumvent this negative result by minimizing the CVaR loss over randomized classifiers, for which the minimizers of the average zero-one loss and the CVaR zero-one loss are no longer the same, so minimizing the latter can lead to better tail performance. To learn such randomized classifiers, we propose the Boosted CVaR Classification framework which is motivated by a direct relationship between CVaR and a classical boosting algorithm called LPBoost. Based on this framework, we design an algorithm called $\alpha$-AdaLPBoost. We empirically evaluate our proposed algorithm on four benchmark datasets and show that it achieves higher tail performance than deterministic model training methods.

Via

We consider the problem of designing minimax estimators for estimating the parameters of a probability distribution. Unlike classical approaches such as the MLE and minimum distance estimators, we consider an algorithmic approach for constructing such estimators. We view the problem of designing minimax estimators as finding a mixed strategy Nash equilibrium of a zero-sum game. By leveraging recent results in online learning with non-convex losses, we provide a general algorithm for finding a mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium of general non-convex non-concave zero-sum games. Our algorithm requires access to two subroutines: (a) one which outputs a Bayes estimator corresponding to a given prior probability distribution, and (b) one which computes the worst-case risk of any given estimator. Given access to these two subroutines, we show that our algorithm outputs both a minimax estimator and a least favorable prior. To demonstrate the power of this approach, we use it to construct provably minimax estimators for classical problems such as estimation in the finite Gaussian sequence model, and linear regression.

Via

We consider the problem of online learning and its application to solving minimax games. For the online learning problem, Follow the Perturbed Leader (FTPL) is a widely studied algorithm which enjoys the optimal $O(T^{1/2})$ worst-case regret guarantee for both convex and nonconvex losses. In this work, we show that when the sequence of loss functions is predictable, a simple modification of FTPL which incorporates optimism can achieve better regret guarantees, while retaining the optimal worst-case regret guarantee for unpredictable sequences. A key challenge in obtaining these tighter regret bounds is the stochasticity and optimism in the algorithm, which requires different analysis techniques than those commonly used in the analysis of FTPL. The key ingredient we utilize in our analysis is the dual view of perturbation as regularization. While our algorithm has several applications, we consider the specific application of minimax games. For solving smooth convex-concave games, our algorithm only requires access to a linear optimization oracle. For Lipschitz and smooth nonconvex-nonconcave games, our algorithm requires access to an optimization oracle which computes the perturbed best response. In both these settings, our algorithm solves the game up to an accuracy of $O(T^{-1/2})$ using $T$ calls to the optimization oracle. An important feature of our algorithm is that it is highly parallelizable and requires only $O(T^{1/2})$ iterations, with each iteration making $O(T^{1/2})$ parallel calls to the optimization oracle.

Via