Questions tagged [markov-decision-process]

For questions related to the concept of Markov decision process (MDP), which is a mathematical framework for modeling decision making in situations where outcomes are partly random and partly under the control of a decision-maker. The concept of MDP is useful for studying optimization problems solved via dynamic programming and reinforcement learning.

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Why is this Monte Carlo approach scalable for a growing number of states variables and action variables?

I am reading a research paper on the formulation of MDP problems to ICU treatment decision making: Treatment Recommendation in Critical Care: A Scalable and Interpretable Approach in Partially ...
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Interesting examples of discrete stochastic games

SGs are a generalization of MDPs to multiple agents. Like this previous question on MDPs, are there any interesting examples of zero-sum, discrete SGs—preferably with small state and action spaces? I'...
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What is the difference between value iteration and policy iteration? [duplicate]

In reinforcement learning, what is the difference between policy iteration and value iteration? As much as I understand, in value iteration, you use the Bellman equation to solve for the optimal ...
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22 views

Bandits with missing contexts

Say I learn an optimal policy $\pi(a|c)$ for a contextual multi-armed bandit problem, where the context c is a composite of multiple context variables $c = c_1, c_2, c_3$. For example, the context is ...
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Finding total number of states in a POMDP

I've been working on a question that is posed in a document I've been reading, that models qualifying for a job as a POMDP. In this model, a person takes 3 exams, and must pass all of them in order to ...
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1answer
66 views

How to assign rewards in a non-Markovian environment?

I am quite new to the Reinforcement Learning domain and I am curious about something. It seems to be the case that the majority of current research assumes Markovian environments, that is, future ...
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1answer
67 views

Solving a Multi-Armed, “Multi-Bandit” Problem

This is the problem: I have 66 slot-machines and for each of them I have 7 possible actions/arms to choose from. At each trial, I have to choose one of 7 actions for each and every one of the 66 slots....
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1answer
27 views

Why feed actions in later layer in Q network?

I read the DDPG paper, in which the authors state that the actions are fed only later to their Q network: Actions were not included until the 2nd hidden layer of Q. (Sec 7, Experiment Details) So ...
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42 views

What is the state of the art AI training technique for imperfect information 2 player turn based games?

As far as I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong), Alphazero (with MCTS and neural network heuristic function RL) is the state of the art training method for turn based, deterministic, perfect ...
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1answer
56 views

Markov property in maze solving problem in reinforcement learning

By definition, every state in RL has Markov property, which means that the future state depends only on the current state, not the past states. However, I saw that in some case we can define a state ...
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Why does having a fixed policy change a Markov Decision Process (MDP) to a Markov Reward Process (MRP)?

If a policy is fixed, it is said that an MDP becomes an MRP. Why is this so? Aren't the transitions and rewards still parameterized by the action and current state? In other words, aren't the ...
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34 views

Is the agent aware of a possible different set of actions for each state?

I have a use case where the set of actions is different for different states. Is the agent aware of what actions are valid for which states or is the agent only aware of the entire action space (in ...
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Can someone please help me validate my MDP?

Problem Statement : I have a system with four states - S1 through S4 where S1 is the beginning state and S4 is the end/terminal state. The next state is always better than the previous state i.e if ...
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Finding optimal Value function and Policy for an MDP

I am solving an RL MDP problem which is model based. I have an MDP which has four possible states S1-S4 and four different actions A1-A4, with S4 being terminal state and S1 is the beginning state. ...
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113 views

Benchmarks for reinforcement learning in discrete MDPs

To compare the performance of various algorithms for perfect information games, reasonable benchmarks include reversi and m,n,k-games (generalized tic-tac-toe). For imperfect information games, ...
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1answer
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Can I have different rewards for a single action based on which state it transitions to?

I am working on an MDP where there are four states and ten actions. I am supposed to derive the optimal policy to reach the desired state. At any state, a particular action can take you to any of the ...
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Derivation for Value Iteration of CVaR

I am reading a paper named Risk-sensitive and Robust Decision-making: a CVaR Optimization Approach. In appendix A.3 they provide a proof for their Theorem $4$. The $n=1$ case for equation (11) is ...
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290 views

How to stay a up-to-date researcher in ML/RL community?

As a student who wants to work on machine learning, I would like to know how it is possible to start my studies and how to follow it to stay up-to-date. For example, I am willing to work on RL and MAB ...
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36 views

Why are state transitions in MDPs probabilistic rather than deterministic?

I've read that for MDPs the state transition function $P_a(s, s')$ is a probability. This seems strange to me for modeling because most environments (like video games) are deterministic. Now, I'd ...
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Why am I getting the incorrect value of lambda?

I am trying to solve for lambda using Temporal Difference Learning I am trying to figure out what lambda I need, to make TD(λ)=TD(1) but I get the incorrect value of lambda. Here is how I did: <...
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2answers
53 views

Reinforcement learning with uniformly random dynamics

Suppose I have an MDP $(S, A, p, R)$ where the $p(s_j|s_i,a_i)$ is uniform, i.e given an state $s_i$ and an action $a_i$ all states $s_j$ are equally probable. Now I want to find an optimal policy ...
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1answer
34 views

Are successive actions independent?

The proof of the consistency of the per-decision importance sampling estimator assumes the independence of $$\frac{\pi(A_t|S_t)}{b(A_t|S_t)}R_{t+1}\quad\text{ and }\quad \prod_{k=t+1}^{T-1}\frac{\pi(...
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Does everyone still use discount rates?

In Section 10.4 of Sutton and Barto's RL book, they argue that the discount rate $\gamma$ has no effect in continuing settings. They show (at least for one objective function) that the average of the ...
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2answers
619 views

Can Q-learning be used in a POMDP?

Can Q-learning (and SARSA) be directly used in a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP)? If not, why not? My intuition is that the policies learned will be terrible because of partial ...
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1answer
42 views

Do we have to consider the feasability of an action when defining the reward function of a MDP?

Do we have to consider if (s is given) an action a can lead to s' when defining a reward function? To be more specific: Let's say I have a 1D Map like: |A|B|C|D| ...
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733 views

How can we use linear programming to solve an MDP?

Apparently, we can solve an MDP (that is, we can find the optimal policy for a given MDP) using a linear programming formulation. What's the basic idea behind this approach? I think you should start ...
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70 views

What is a generalized MDP?

What is a generalized MDP? How is it different than a "regular" MDP? How does it generalise the notion of an MDP? Why do we need a generalised MDP? Do generalised MDPs have some practical usefulness ...
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1answer
149 views

Unable to understand the second iteration update in value iteration algorithm for solving MDP

I am trying to understand the value iteration method for Markov Decision Process(MDP) and I was referring ot UC Berkeley's slides titled Markov Decision Processes and Exact Solution Methods On slide ...
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1answer
63 views

Does the observation function for POMDP always add up to 1?

I was reading in the article A tutorial on partially observable Markov decision processes (p. 120), by Michael L. Littman, that $\sum_{z \in Z}O(a, s',z) =1$, where $a$ is the action, $s'$ the next ...
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2answers
211 views

Difference in continuing and episodic cases in Sutton and Barto - Introduction to RL, exercise 3.5

Excercise 3.5 The equastions in Section 3.1 are for the continuing case and need to be modified (very slightly) to apply to episodic tasks. Show that you know the modifications needed by giving ...
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1answer
86 views

Should I model my problem as a semi-MDP?

I have a system (like a bank) that people (customers) are entered into the systems by a Poisson process, so the time between the arrival of people (two consecutive customers) will be a random variable....
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107 views

How can we estimate the transition model and reward function?

In reinforcement learning (RL), there are model-based and model-free algorithms. In short, model-based algorithms use a transition model (e.g. a probability distribution) and the reward function, even ...
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3answers
216 views

Can the rewards be stochastic when the transition model is deterministic?

Suppose we have a deterministic environment where knowing $s,a$ determines $s'$. Is it possible to get two different rewards $r\neq r'$ in some state $s_{\text{fixed}}$? Assume that $s_{\text{fixed}}$ ...
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1answer
55 views

Is the next state drawn from the joint distribution of the previous state and action?

Suppose $G_t$, the discounted return at time $t$ is defined as: $$ G_t \triangleq R_t+\gamma R_{t+1}+\gamma^{2}R_{t+2} + \cdots = \sum_{j=1}^{\infty} \gamma^{k}R_{t+k}$$ where $R_t$ is the reward at ...
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1answer
70 views

What is the relation between a policy which is the solution to a MDP and a policy like $\epsilon$-greedy?

In the context of reinforcement learning, a policy, $\pi$, is often defined as a function from the space of states, $\mathcal{S}$, to the space of actions, $\mathcal{A}$, that is, $\pi : \mathcal{S} \...
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2answers
71 views

How are the reward functions $R(s)$, $R(s, a)$ and $R(s, a, s')$ equivalent?

In this video, the lecturer states that $R(s)$, $R(s, a)$ and $R(s, a, s')$ are equivalent representations of the reward function. Intuitively, this is the case, according to the same lecturer, ...
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What limitations does the Markov property place on real time learning?

The Markov property is the dependence of a system's future state probability distribution solely on the present state, excluding any dependence on past system history. The presence of the Markov ...
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2answers
315 views

Is Monte Carlo Tree Search appropriate for problems with large state and action spaces?

I'm doing a research on a finite-horizon Markov decision process with $t=1, \dots, 40$ periods. In every time step $t$, the (only) agent has to chose an action $a(t) \in A(t)$, while the agent is in ...
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1answer
84 views

What is the appropriate approach to playing a game with incomplete state information?

I have a steady hex-map and turn-based war game featuring WWII carrier battles. I would like to improve the fixed policy for the AI using reinforcement learning. I have some beginner's questions, ...
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1answer
144 views

Importance Sampling Ratio Probability

When reading Reinforcement Learning by Sutton and Barto, I came across the importance sampling ratio. The first equation, I believe, describes the probability a particular sequence is obtained given ...
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40 views

How to generalize finite MDP to general MDP?

Suppose, for simplicity sake, to be in a discrete time domain with the action set being the same for all states $S \in \mathcal{S}$. Thus, in a finite Markov Decision Process, the sets $\mathcal{A}$, $...
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383 views

Is my understanding of the differences between MDP, Semi MDP and POMDP correct?

I just wanted to confirm that my understanding of the different Markov Decision Processes are correct, because they are the fundamentals of reinforcement learning. Also, I read a few literature ...
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1k views

What is a time-step in a Markov Decision Process?

The “Discounted sum of future rewards” using discount factor $\gamma$ is $\gamma$ (reward in 1 time step) + $\gamma^2$ (reward in 2 time steps) + $\gamma^3$ (reward in 3 time steps) + ... I am ...