Hierarchical multi-armed bandits for discovering hidden populations

Suhansanu Kumar, Heting Gao, Changyu Wang, Kevin Chen Chuan Chang, Hari Sundaram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper proposes a novel algorithm to discover hidden individuals in a social network. The problem is increasingly important for social scientists as the populations (e.g., individuals with mental illness) that they study converse online. Since these populations do not use the category (e.g., mental illness) to self-describe, directly querying with text is non-trivial. To by-pass the limitations of network and query re-writing frameworks, we focus on identifying hidden populations through attributed search. We propose a hierarchical Multi-Arm Bandit (DT-TMP) sampler that uses a decision tree coupled with reinforcement learning to query the combinatorial attributed search space by exploring and expanding along high yielding decision-tree branches. A comprehensive set of experiments over a suite of twelve sampling tasks on three online web platforms, and three offline entity datasets reveals that DT-TMP outperforms all baseline samplers by upto a margin of 54% on Twitter and 48% on RateMDs. An extensive ablation study confirms DT-TMP’s superior performance under different sampling scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019
EditorsFrancesca Spezzano, Wei Chen, Xiaokui Xiao
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages145-153
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450368681
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2019
Event11th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Aug 27 2019Aug 30 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019

Conference

Conference11th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period8/27/198/30/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Sociology and Political Science

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  • Cite this

    Kumar, S., Gao, H., Wang, C., Chang, K. C. C., & Sundaram, H. (2019). Hierarchical multi-armed bandits for discovering hidden populations. In F. Spezzano, W. Chen, & X. Xiao (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019 (pp. 145-153). (Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3341161.3342880