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  1. Contextual bandit algorithms are increasingly replacing non-adaptive A/B tests in e-commerce, healthcare, and policymaking because they can both improve outcomes for study participants and increase the chance of identifying good or even best policies. To support credible inference on novel interventions at the end of the study, nonetheless, we still want to construct valid confidence intervals on average treatment effects, subgroup effects, or value of new policies. The adaptive nature of the data collected by contextual bandit algorithms, however, makes this difficult: standard estimators are no longer asymptotically normally distributed and classic confidence intervals fail to provide correct coverage. While this has been addressed in non-contextual settings by using stabilized estimators, variance stabilized estimators in the contextual setting pose unique challenges that we tackle for the first time in this paper. We propose the Contextual Adaptive Doubly Robust (CADR) estimator, a novel estimator for policy value that is asymptotically normal under contextual adaptive data collection. The main technical challenge in constructing CADR is designing adaptive and consistent conditional standard deviation estimators for stabilization. Extensive numerical experiments using 57 OpenML datasets demonstrate that confidence intervals based on CADR uniquely provide correct coverage. 
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  2. Empirical risk minimization (ERM) is the workhorse of machine learning, whether for classification and regression or for off-policy policy learning, but its model-agnostic guarantees can fail when we use adaptively collected data, such as the result of running a contextual bandit algorithm. We study a generic importance sampling weighted ERM algorithm for using adaptively collected data to minimize the average of a loss function over a hypothesis class and provide first-of-their-kind generalization guarantees and fast convergence rates. Our results are based on a new maximal inequality that carefully leverages the importance sampling structure to obtain rates with the good dependence on the exploration rate in the data. For regression, we provide fast rates that leverage the strong convexity of squared-error loss. For policy learning, we provide regret guarantees that close an open gap in the existing literature whenever exploration decays to zero, as is the case for bandit-collected data. An empirical investigation validates our theory. 
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