# Can DQN perform better than Double DQN?

I'm training both DQN and double DQN in the same environment, but DQN performs significantly better than double DQN. As I've seen in the double DQN paper, double DQN should perform better than DQN. Am I doing something wrong or is it possible?

• Hello. I am facing the same issue. What explanation finally did you give ? Jan 10, 2021 at 12:18
• I have the same result, DQN performs better than Double DQN. I m try to understand why. Jan 25, 2021 at 16:28
• DDQN was designed to address Q-function overestimation. So it is possible that your DQN which performs "better" is just a red herring where Q learnt is bogus and over-optimistic. So when DDQN produces lower numbers it only looks "worse" but in fact is closer to realistic solution.. Just a thought.. Sep 10, 2022 at 13:26

There is no thorough proof, theoretical or experimental that Double DQN is better then vanilla DQN. There are a lot of different tasks, paper and later experiments only explore some of them. What practitioner can take out of it is that on some tasks DDQN is better. That's the essence of Deep Mind's "Rainbow" approach - drop a lot of different methods into bucket and take best results.

• Can you give some references where DQN outperforms DoubleDQN? Jan 10, 2021 at 12:13
• I have a problem where my DQN is better than DoubleDQN and I cannot give a valid explanation on why. Jan 10, 2021 at 12:14

That may happen when the value of the state is bad. You can find the example and explain about that in the link below.

• What do you mean by "the value of the state is bad"? As I'm using an OpenAI-Gym environment, the value of the state is just the observation that I'm getting from it. Apr 9, 2019 at 7:53
• @Angelo you can read the blog above to understand the answer . As you calculate all actions at one state but all these actions do not affect the environment in a relevant way. Apr 9, 2019 at 8:11
• @Angelo In most states, the choice of action has no effect. Apr 9, 2019 at 8:37
• We prefer answers that contain the necessary info to answer the question, rather than answers that just link to another external resource, so I suggest that you provide the necessary info from that article in your answer.
– nbro
Nov 4, 2020 at 21:23
• In your link, it says that in DuelingDQN session, not in DoubleDQN as asked. Jan 10, 2021 at 12:16