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Multi-Agent Multi-Armed Bandits with Limited Communication

Mridul Agarwal, Vaneet Aggarwal, Kamyar Azizzadenesheli; 23(212):1−24, 2022.


We consider the problem where $N$ agents collaboratively interact with an instance of a stochastic $K$ arm bandit problem for $K \gg N$. The agents aim to simultaneously minimize the cumulative regret over all the agents for a total of $T$ time steps, the number of communication rounds, and the number of bits in each communication round. We present Limited Communication Collaboration - Upper Confidence Bound (LCC-UCB), a doubling-epoch based algorithm where each agent communicates only after the end of the epoch and shares the index of the best arm it knows. With our algorithm, LCC-UCB, each agent enjoys a regret of $\tilde{O}\left(\sqrt{({K/N}+ N)T}\right)$, communicates for $O(\log T)$ steps and broadcasts $O(\log K)$ bits in each communication step. We extend the work to sparse graphs with maximum degree $K_G$ and diameter $D$ to propose LCC-UCB-GRAPH which enjoys a regret bound of $\tilde{O}\left(D\sqrt{(K/N+ K_G)DT}\right)$. Finally, we empirically show that the LCC-UCB and the LCC-UCB-GRAPH algorithms perform well and outperform strategies that communicate through a central node.

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