Sample Complexity for Quadratic Bandits: Hessian Dependent Bounds and Optimal Algorithms

Qian Yu, Yining Wang, Baihe Huang, Qi Lei, Jason D. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In stochastic zeroth-order optimization, a problem of practical relevance is understanding how to fully exploit the local geometry of the underlying objective function. We consider a fundamental setting in which the objective function is quadratic, and provide the first tight characterization of the optimal Hessian-dependent sample complexity. Our contribution is twofold. First, from an information-theoretic point of view, we prove tight lower bounds on Hessian-dependent complexities by introducing a concept called energy allocation, which captures the interaction between the searching algorithm and the geometry of objective functions. A matching upper bound is obtained by solving the optimal energy spectrum. Then, algorithmically, we show the existence of a Hessian-independent algorithm that universally achieves the asymptotic optimal sample complexities for all Hessian instances. The optimal sample complexities achieved by our algorithm remain valid for heavy-tailed noise distributions, which are enabled by a truncation method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2023
Event37th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2023 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Dec 10 2023Dec 16 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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