Fair Algorithms for Infinite and Contextual Bandits

Matthew Joseph, Michael Kearns, Jamie Morgenstern, Seth Neel, Aaron Roth

We study fairness in linear bandit problems. Starting from the notion of meritocratic fairness introduced in Joseph et al. [2016], we carry out a more refined analysis of a more general problem, achieving better performance guarantees with fewer modelling assumptions on the number and structure of available choices as well as the number selected. We also analyze the previously-unstudied question of fairness in infinite linear bandit problems, obtaining instance-dependent regret upper bounds as well as lower bounds demonstrating that this instance-dependence is necessary. The result is a framework for meritocratic fairness in an online linear setting that is substantially more powerful, general, and realistic than the current state of the art.