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Title: A discrepancy-based design for A/B testing experiments Authors:  Yiou Li - DePaul university (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: A/B tests (or ``A/B/n tests'') refer to the experiments and the corresponding inference on the treatment effect(s) of a two-level or multi-level controllable experimental factor. The common practice is to use a randomized design and perform hypothesis tests on the estimates. However, such estimation and inference are not always accurate when covariate imbalance exists among the treatment groups. To overcome this issue, we propose a discrepancy-based criterion and show that the design minimizing this criterion significantly improves the accuracy of the treatment effect(s) estimates. The discrepancy-based criterion is model-free and thus makes the estimation of the treatment effect(s) robust to the model assumptions. More importantly, the proposed design is applicable to both continuous and categorical response measurements. We develop two efficient algorithms to construct the designs by optimizing the criterion for both offline and online A/B tests. Through simulation study and a real example, we show that the proposed design approach achieves good covariate balance and accurate estimation.