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Multi-Armed Bandits

Alex Slivkins has a new book:

If you’ve ever been in a casino, you may have found yourself asking one very pertinent question: On which slot machine am I going to hit the jackpot? Standing in front of a bank of identical-looking machines, you have only instinct to go on. It isn’t until you start putting your money into these one-armed bandits, as they’re also known, that you get a sense of which are hot and which are not, and when you find one that’s paying out regularly, you might stick with it in hopes of winning big. Though seemingly specific to the Las Vegas Strip, this scenario boils down to an exploration-exploitation tradeoff: make a decision based on what you already know and miss out on a potentially bigger reward or spend time and resources continuing to gather information.

Read on for some info about the book. Near the end, Alex gives a link to where you can buy it, as well as where you can get a PDF copy for free.