Abstract

Thompson Sampling is one of the oldest heuristics for multi-armed bandit problems. It is a randomized algorithm based on Bayesian ideas, and has recently generated signfi cant interest after several studies demonstrated it to have comparable or better empirical performance compared to the state of the art methods. In this paper, we provide a novel regret analysis for Thompson Sampling that proves the first near-optimal problem-independent bound of O(p NT ln T) on the expected regret of this algorithm. Our novel martingale-based analysis techniques are conceptually simple, and easily extend to distributions other than the Beta distribution.

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