Distributionally Robust Counterfactual Risk Minimization

Abstract

This manuscript introduces the idea of using Distributionally Robust Optimization (DRO) for the Counterfactual Risk Minimization (CRM) problem. Tapping into a rich existing literature, we show that DRO is a principled tool for counterfactual decision making. We also show that well-established solutions to the CRM problem like sample variance penalization schemes are special instances of a more general DRO problem. In this unifying framework, a variety of distributionally robust counterfactual risk estimators can be constructed using various probability distances and divergences as uncertainty measures. We propose the use of Kullback-Leibler divergence as an alternative way to model uncertainty in CRM and derive a new robust counterfactual objective. In our experiments, we show that this approach outperforms the state-of-the-art on four benchmark datasets, validating the relevance of using other uncertainty measures in practical applications.

Publication
In International Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
Louis Faury
Louis Faury
Machine Learning Researcher

I am a researcher at Criteo, focusing on bandit algorithms and reinforcement learning.