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Multi-armed Bandit Algorithms on System-on-Chip: Go Frequentist or Bayesian?

posted on 11.06.2021, 05:24 by S. V. Sai Santosh, sumit darak
Multi-armed Bandit (MAB) algorithms identify the best arm among multiple arms via exploration-exploitation trade-off without prior knowledge of arm statistics. Their usefulness in wireless radio, IoT, and robotics demand deployment on edge devices, and hence, a mapping on system-on-chip (SoC) is desired. Theoretically, the Bayesian approach-based Thompson Sampling (TS) algorithm offers better performance than the frequentist approach-based Upper Confidence Bound (UCB) algorithm. However, TS is not synthesizable due to \textit{Beta} function. We address this problem by approximating it via a pseudo-random number generator-based approach and efficiently realize the TS algorithm on Zynq SoC. In practice, the type of arms distribution (e.g., Bernoulli, Gaussian, etc.) is unknown and hence, a single algorithm may not be optimal. We propose a reconfigurable and intelligent MAB (RI-MAB) framework. Here, intelligence enables the identification of appropriate MAB algorithms for a given environment, and reconfigurability allows on-the-fly switching between algorithms on the SoC. This eliminates the need for parallel implementation of algorithms resulting in huge savings in resources and power consumption. We analyze the functional correctness, area, power, and execution time of the proposed and existing architectures for various arm distributions, word-length, and hardware-software co-design approaches. We demonstrate the superiority of the RI-MAB over TS and UCB only architectures.


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