## Accelerating AdaBoost using UCB

** Róbert Busa-Fekete and Balázs
Kégl**; JMLR W & CP 7:111-122, 2009.**
**

### Abstract

This paper explores how multi-armed bandits
(MABs) can be applied to accelerate AdaBoost. AdaBoost
constructs a strong classifier in a stepwise fashion by adding
simple base classifiers to a pool and using their weighted
“vote” to determine the final classification. We model this
stepwise base classifier selection as a sequential decision
problem, and optimize it with MABs. Each arm represents a
subset of the base classifier set. The MAB gradually learns the
"utility" of the subsets, and selects one of the subsets in
each iteration. ADABOOST then searches only this subset instead
of optimizing the base classifier over the whole space. The
reward is defined as a function of the accuracy of the base
classifier. We investigate how the well-known UCB algorithm can
be applied in the case of boosted stumps, trees, and products
of base classifiers. The KDD Cup 2009 was a large-scale
learning task with a limited training time, thus this challenge
offered us a good opportunity to test the utility of our
approach. During the challenge our best results came in the
Up-selling task where our model was within 1% of the best AUC
rate. After more thorough post-challenge validation the
algorithm performed as well as the best challenge submission on
the small data set in two of the three tasks.