Authors:    Mariia Seleznova, Behrooz Omidvar-Tehrani, Sihem Amer-Yahia, Eric Simon

Published in:   PVLDB 2020

Abstract:    Finding a set of users of interest serves several applications in behavioral analytics. Often times, identifying users re- quires to explore the data and gradually choose potential targets. This is a special case of Exploratory Data Analy- sis (EDA), an iterative and tedious process. In this paper, we formalize and solve the problem of guided exploration of user groups whose purpose is to find target users. We model exploration as an iterative decision-making process, where an agent is shown a set of groups, chooses users from those groups, and selects the best action to move to the next step. To solve our problem, we apply reinforcement learning to discover an efficient exploration strategy from a simulated agent experience, and propose to use the learned strategy to recommend an exploration policy that can be applied to the same task for any dataset. Our framework accepts a wide class of exploration actions and does not need to gather exploration logs. Our experiments show that the agent naturally captures manual exploration by human ana- lysts, and succeeds to learn an interpretable and transferable exploration policy.