Parallel Contextual Bandits in Wireless Handover Optimization

Igor Colin, Albert Thomas, Moez Draief

As cellular networks become denser, a scalable and dynamic tuning of wireless base station parameters can only be achieved through automated optimization. Although the contextual bandit framework arises as a natural candidate for such a task, its extension to a parallel setting is not straightforward: one needs to carefully adapt existing methods to fully leverage the multi-agent structure of this problem. We propose two approaches: one derived from a deterministic UCB-like method and the other relying on Thompson sampling. Thanks to its bayesian nature, the latter is intuited to better preserve the exploration-exploitation balance in the bandit batch. This is verified on toy experiments, where Thompson sampling shows robustness to the variability of the contexts. Finally, we apply both methods on a real base station network dataset and evidence that Thompson sampling outperforms both manual tuning and contextual UCB.

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