Adaptive Double-Exploration Tradeoff for Outlier Detection

  • Xiaojin Zhang The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Honglei Zhuang University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Shengyu Zhang Tencent
  • Yuan Zhou University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


We study a variant of the thresholding bandit problem (TBP) in the context of outlier detection, where the objective is to identify the outliers whose rewards are above a threshold. Distinct from the traditional TBP, the threshold is defined as a function of the rewards of all the arms, which is motivated by the criterion for identifying outliers. The learner needs to explore the rewards of the arms as well as the threshold. We refer to this problem as "double exploration for outlier detection". We construct an adaptively updated confidence interval for the threshold, based on the estimated value of the threshold in the previous rounds. Furthermore, by automatically trading off exploring the individual arms and exploring the outlier threshold, we provide an efficient algorithm in terms of the sample complexity. Experimental results on both synthetic datasets and real-world datasets demonstrate the efficiency of our algorithm.

AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning