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Joint Econometrics and Statistics Workshop

Reinforcement Learning for Respondent-Driven Sampling

Eric Laber (Duke University)

Friday 26 May 2023 12:00 - 13:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) is a network-based sampling strategy used to study hidden populations for which no sampling frame is available. In each epoch of an RDS study, the current wave of study participants are incentivized to recruit the next wave through their social connections. The success and efficiency of RDS can depend critically on attributes of incentives and the underlying (latent) network structure. We propose a reinforcement learning-based adaptive RDS design to optimize some measure of study utility, e.g., efficiency, treatment dissemination, reach, etc. Our design is based on a branching process approximation to the RDS process, however, our proposed post-study inferential procedures apply to general network models even when the network is not fully identified. Simulation experiments show that the proposed design provides substantial gains in efficiency over static and two-step RDS procedures.

Econometrics and Statistics seminars are held on Fridays in term time at 12:00-13:00, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Dr Tatiana Komarova and Dr Yunxiao Chen.

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe:

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