A/B testing refers to the task of determining the best option among two alternatives that yield random outcomes. We provide distribution-dependent lower bounds for the performance of A/B testing that improve over the results currently available both in the fixed-confidence (or delta-PAC) and fixed-budget settings. When the distribution of the outcomes are Gaussian, we prove that the complexity of the fixed-confidence and fixed-budget settings are equivalent, and that uniform sampling of both alternatives is optimal only in the case of equal variances. In the common variance case, we also provide a stopping rule that terminates faster than existing fixed-confidence algorithms. In the case of Bernoulli distributions, we show that the complexity of fixed-budget setting is smaller than that of fixed-confidence setting and that uniform sampling of both alternatives -though not optimal- is advisable in practice when combined with an appropriate stopping criterion.
- Pub Date:
- May 2014
- Mathematics - Statistics Theory;
- Computer Science - Machine Learning;
- Statistics - Machine Learning
- Conference on Learning Theory, Jun 2014, Barcelona, Spain. JMLR: Workshop and Conference Proceedings, 35, pp.461-481