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Learning Permutations with Exponential Weights

David P. Helmbold, Manfred K. Warmuth; 10(58):1705−1736, 2009.


We give an algorithm for the on-line learning of permutations. The algorithm maintains its uncertainty about the target permutation as a doubly stochastic weight matrix, and makes predictions using an efficient method for decomposing the weight matrix into a convex combination of permutations. The weight matrix is updated by multiplying the current matrix entries by exponential factors, and an iterative procedure is needed to restore double stochasticity. Even though the result of this procedure does not have a closed form, a new analysis approach allows us to prove an optimal (up to small constant factors) bound on the regret of our algorithm. This regret bound is significantly better than that of either Kalai and Vempala's more efficient Follow the Perturbed Leader algorithm or the computationally expensive method of explicitly representing each permutation as an expert.

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