Thompson Sampling for Combinatorial Semi-Bandits

Siwei Wang, Wei Chen

We study the application of the Thompson sampling (TS) methodology to the stochastic combinatorial multi-armed bandit (CMAB) framework. We analyze the standard TS algorithm for the general CMAB, and obtain the first distribution-dependent regret bound of $O(m\log T / \Delta_{\min}) $ for TS under general CMAB, where $m$ is the number of arms, $T$ is the time horizon, and $\Delta_{\min}$ is the minimum gap between the expected reward of the optimal solution and any non-optimal solution. We also show that one cannot use an approximate oracle in TS algorithm for even MAB problems. Then we expand the analysis to matroid bandit, a special case of CMAB and for which we could remove the independence assumption across arms and achieve a better regret bound. Finally, we use some experiments to show the comparison of regrets of CUCB and CTS algorithms.

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