Published on Thu Feb 27 2020

Online Learning for Active Cache Synchronization

Andrey Kolobov, Sébastien Bubeck, Julian Zimmert

Existing multi-armed bandit (MAB) models make two implicit assumptions: an arm generates a payoff only when it is played, and the agent observes every payoff that is generated. This paper introduces synchronization bandits, where all arms generate costs at all times.

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Abstract

Existing multi-armed bandit (MAB) models make two implicit assumptions: an arm generates a payoff only when it is played, and the agent observes every payoff that is generated. This paper introduces synchronization bandits, a MAB variant where all arms generate costs at all times, but the agent observes an arm's instantaneous cost only when the arm is played. Synchronization MABs are inspired by online caching scenarios such as Web crawling, where an arm corresponds to a cached item and playing the arm means downloading its fresh copy from a server. We present MirrorSync, an online learning algorithm for synchronization bandits, establish an adversarial regret of $O(T^{2/3})$ for it, and show how to make it practical.