IFE Distinguished Visitor Lecture – Dr Steven Scott (Google) 24th February 2015

IFE Distinguished Visitor Lecture

Multi-Armed Bandit Experiments in the Online Service Economy

Dr Steven Scott (Google)

Tuesday 24 February, 2.30–3.30 pm

The Forum (P419), Level 4, P Block, QUT Gardens Point (map)

Please register to attend (if you haven’t already).


The modern service economy is substantively different from the agricultural and manufacturing economies that preceded it. In particular, the cost of experimenting is dominating by opportunity cost rather than the cost of obtaining experimental units. The new economy requires a new class of experiments, in which stochastic models play an important role. This lecture briefly summarises multi-armed bandit experiments, where the experimental design is modified as the experiment progresses to reduce the cost of experimenting.


Steven Scott Google

Dr Steven Scott is a Senior Economic Analyst at Google, where he has worked since 2008.  He received his PhD from the Harvard statistics department in 1998.  He spent 9 years on the faculty of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. Between USC and Google he also had a brief tenure at Capital One, where he was a Director of Statistical Analysis.

Dr Scott is a Bayesian statistician specialising in Monte Carlo computation.  In his academic life he has written papers on Bayesian methods for hidden Markov models, multinomial logistic regression, item response models, and support vector machines.  These methods have been applied to network intrusion detection, web traffic modelling, educational testing, health state monitoring, and brand choice, among others.

Since joining Google he has focused on models for time series with many contemporaneous predictors, on scalable Monte Carlo computation, and on Bayesian methods for the multi-armed bandit problem.


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