Improving Online Rent-or-Buy Algorithms with Sequential Decision Making and ML Predictions

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Shom Banerjee


In this work we study online rent-or-buy problems as a sequential decision making problem. We show how one can integrate predictions, typically coming from a machine learning (ML) setup, into this framework. Specifically, we consider the ski-rental problem and the dynamic TCP acknowledgment problem. We present new online algorithms and obtain explicit performance bounds in-terms of the accuracy of the prediction. Our algorithms are close to optimal with accurate predictions while hedging against less accurate predictions.