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One glaring flaw in this article is that they're comparing a multi-arm bandit with a 10% exploration rate to a simple random split test with an implicit 50% exploration rate. Of course the split test will converge faster.

In their results when they compare a MAB with a 50% exploration rate to their split test you start to see a comparable amount of time to converge. Also they only show the results of one simulation with a lot of random in it. Given we're all stats nerds it would've been handy to see a box plot for each of the styles of simulation across multiple runs.

Having said all of that, my biggest concern around MAB as it's being sold is the lack of thought around the experiments. In the end it's just data and it doesn't mean anything without human intuition and preconceptions guiding it. Example: day of week, time of year/day, new page people are getting used to still, old one that garners lots of repeat traffic, etc. When running tests there's a lot more to consider besides just "whatever the data says".




We ran each simulation 25 times (with 10000 iterations each). And can share exact statistics in case you are interested. And yes, MAB with 50% exploration rate did perform similarly, but it didn't generalize when there were more than two versions.




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