Firing Bandits: Optimizing Crowdfunding

In this paper, we model the problem of optimizing crowdfunding platforms, such as the non-profit Kiva or for-profit KickStarter, as a variant of the multi-armed bandit problem. In our setting, Bernoulli arms emit no rewards until their cumulative number of successes over any number of trials exceeds a fixed threshold and then provides no additional reward for any additional trials - a process reminiscent to that of a neuron firing once it reaches the action potential and then saturates... (read more)

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