contextual: Evaluating contextual multi-armed bandit problems in R

Robin van Emden, Maurits Kaptein

Research output: Working paperScientific

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Over the past decade, contextual bandit algorithms have been gaining in popularity due to their effectiveness and flexibility in solving sequential decision problems---from online advertising and finance to clinical trial design and personalized medicine. At the same time, there are, as of yet, surprisingly few options that enable researchers and practitioners to simulate and compare the wealth of new and existing bandit algorithms in a standardized way. To help close this gap between analytical research and empirical evaluation the current paper introduces the object-oriented R package "contextual": a user-friendly and, through its object-oriented structure, easily extensible framework that facilitates parallelized comparison of contextual and context-free bandit policies through both simulation and offline analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • cs.LG
  • math.OC
  • stat.ML
  • 93E35
  • I.2.6; K.4.4; F.2.0


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