Questions tagged [policy]

For questions related to policies (as defined in reinforcement learning or other AI sub-fields).

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10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the optimal policy always stochastic if the environment is also stochastic?

Is the optimal policy always stochastic (that is, a map from states to a probability distribution over actions) if the environment is also stochastic? Intuitively, if the environment is ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “stationary” mean in the context of reinforcement learning?

I think I've seen the expressions "stationary data", "stationary dynamics" and "stationary policy", among others, in the context of reinforcement learning. What does it mean? I think stationary policy ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

How do I compute the variance of the return of an evaluation policy using two behaviour policies?

Suppose there is an evaluation policy called $\pi_{e}$ and there are two behavior policies $\pi_{b1}$ and $\pi_{b2}$. I know that it is possible to estimate the return of policy $\pi_{e}$ through ...
4
votes
2answers
246 views

A few questions regarding the difference between policy iteration and value iteration

The question already has some answer. But I am still finding it quite unclear (also does $\pi(s)$ here mean $q(s,a)$ ?): The few things I do not understand are: Why the difference between 2 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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} \...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Why is having low variance important in offline policy evaluation of reinforcement learning?

Intuitively, I understand that having an unbiased estimate of a policy is important because being biased just means that our estimate is distant from the truth value. However, I don't understand ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

An example of a unique value function which is associated with multiple optimal policies

In the 4th paragraph of http://www.incompleteideas.net/book/ebook/node37.html it is mentioned: Whereas the optimal value functions for states and state-action pairs are unique for a given MDP, ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

What is the difference between a non-stationary policy and a state that stores time?

This question is related to What does "stationary" mean in the context of reinforcement learning?, but I have a more specific question to clarify the difference between a non-stationary ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Why do RL implementations converge on one action?

I have seen this happening in implementations of state-of-the-art RL algorithms where the model converges to a single action over time after multiple training iterations. Are there some general ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Representation of state space, action space and reward system for Reinforcement Learning problem

I am trying to solve the problem of an agent dynamically discovering(start with no information about the environment) the environment and to explore as much of the environment as possible without ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Why is the policy not a part of the MDP definition?

I'm reading an article on reinforcement learning, and I don't understand why the agent's policy $\pi$ is not part of definition of Markov Decision process(MDP): Bu, Lucian, Robert Babu, and ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Why do I need an initial arbitrary policy to implement value iteration algorithm

I've been recently given an assignment based on Reinforcement Learning and I'm supposed to implement the value iteration algorithm in a grid environment. The assignment: My doubt is why do I even ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Is my understanding of the value function, Q function, policy, reward and return correct?

I'm a beginner in the RL field, and I would like to check that my understanding of certain RL concepts. Value function: How good it is to be in a state S following policy π. ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

If deep Q learning involves adjusting the value function for a specific policy, then how do I choose the right policy?

I wrote a simple implementation of Flappy Bird in Python, and now I'm trying to train an agent to play it at a reasonable skill level using TFLearn. I feed the network an input vector of size 4: ...
2
votes
1answer
910 views

What is the difference between a stationary and a non-stationary policy?

In reinforcement learning, there are deterministic and non-deterministic (or stochastic) policies, but there are also stationary and non-stationary policies. What is the difference between a ...
2
votes
3answers
47 views

How to estimate a behavior policy for off-policy learning based on data?

I have a dataset which includes states, actions, and reward. The dataset includes information on the transition, i.e., $p(r,s' \mid s,a)$. Is there a way to estimate a behavior policy from this ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Why do value iteration and policy iteration obtain similar policies even though they have different value functions?

I am trying to implement value and policy iteration algorithms. My value function from policy iteration looks vastly different from the values from value iteration, but the policy obtained from both ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Possible inconsistency in the Policy Improvement equation

I came across this formula in Sutton And Barto: RL an Intro (2nd Edition) equation number 4.7 (page number 78). If $\pi$ and $\pi'$ are deterministic policies and $q_\pi(s, \pi'(s)) \geq v_\pi(s)$ ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Can the importance sampling estimator have a non-stationary behaviour policy even if the target policy is stationary?

The inverse propensity score (IPS) estimator, which is used for off-policy evaluation in a contextual bandit problem, is well explained in the paper Doubly Robust Policy Evaluation and Optimization. ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

AlphaGo Zero: Does the policy head give a probability for every possible move?

If I understood correctly, the AlphaGo Zero network returns two values: a vector of logit probabilities p and a value v. My question is: in this vector that it is outputted, do we have a probability ...
1
vote
3answers
751 views

What is the difference between a stochastic and a deterministic policy?

In reinforcement learning, there are the concepts of stochastic (or probabilistic) and deterministic policies. What is the difference between them?
1
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2answers
35 views

Why does the policy $\pi$ affect the Q value?

From my understanding, the policy $\pi$ is basically how the agent acts (i.e. the actions it will take in each state). However, I am confused about the Q value and how it is "affected" by a policy. ...
1
vote
1answer
495 views

What is the difference between the epsilon greedy and softmax policies?

Could someone explain to me which is the key difference between the epsilon greedy policy and the softmax policy? In particular in the contest of SARSA and Q-Learning algorithms. I understood the main ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

How does the AlphaGo Zero policy decide what move to execute?

I was going through the AlphaGo Zero paper and I was trying to understand everything, but I just can't figure out this one formula: $$ \pi(a \mid s_0) = \frac{N(s_0, a)^{\frac{1}{\tau}}}{\sum_b N(s_0,...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Do I need to store the policy for RL?

I am creating a zero-sum game with RL and wondered if I need to store the policy, or if there are other RL methods that produce similar results (consistently beating the human player) without the need ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

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. ...
1
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0answers
30 views

Measure grid-world environments difference for reinforcement learning

I'd like to measure the difference between 2 grid-worlds to determine the generalization capacity of my agent using tabular Q-learning. Example (OpenAI Frozen Lake) : SFFF FHFH FFFH HFFG and : ...
1
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0answers
33 views

Where does the expectation term in the derivative of the soft-max policy come from?

At slide 17 of the David Silver's series, the soft-max policy is defined as follows $$ \pi_\theta(s, a) \propto e^{\phi(s, a)^T \theta} $$ that is, the probability of an action $a$ (in state $s$) is ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

How to understand and visualize a trained RL agent's policy when the state space is high dimensional?

What are typical ways to understand and visualize a trained RL agent's policy when the state space is of high dimension (but not images)? For example, suppose state and action are denoted by $s=(...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Does higher Accuracy in Reinforcement Learning indicate better model performance?

If a reinforcement learning algorithm uses a Deep Neural Network to predict the action given a state (a NN for a policy function), an Monte Carlo Tree Search in a model-based learning setup, then ...