Questions tagged [reinforcement-learning]

For questions related to reinforcement learning, i.e. a machine learning technique where we imagine an agent that interacts with an environment (composed of states) in time steps by taking actions and receiving rewards (or reinforcements), then, based on these interactions, the agent tries to find a policy (i.e. a behavioural strategy) that maximizes the cumulative reward (in the long run), so the goal of the agent is to maximize the reward.

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Does there necessarily exist “dominated actions” in a MDP?

In a Markov Decision Process, is it possible that there exists no "dominated action"? I define a dominated action the following way: we say that $(s,a)$ is a dominated action, if $\forall \...
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How does bootstrapping work with the offline $\lambda$-return algorithm?

In Barton and Sutton's book, Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction (2nd edition), an expression, on page 289 (equation 12.2), introduced the form of the $\lambda$-return defined as follows $$G_t^{\...
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$\nabla \log \pi$ with respect to some parameters constantly being zero

I am new to reinforcement learning. May I ask a simple (and maybe a bit silly) question here? I am trying to use the "one-step actor-critic" method to train a robot on a gridworld. Let's ...
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Policy gradient: Does it use the Markov property?

To derive the policy gradient, we start by writing the equation for the probability of a certain trajectory (e.g. see spinningup tutorial): $$ \begin{align} P_\theta(\tau) &= P_\theta(s_0, a_0, ...
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36 views

How does uniform offset tiling work with function approximation?

I get the fundamental idea of how tilings work, but, in Barton and Sutton's book, Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction (2nd edition), a diagram, on page 219 (figure 9.11), showing the variations of ...
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38 views

Why is TD(0) not converging to the optimal policy?

I am trying to implement the basic RL algorithms to learn on this 10x10 GridWorld (from REINFORCEJS by Kaparthy). Currently I am stuck at TD(0). No matter how many episodes I run, when I am updating ...
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48 views

Can $Q$-learning or SARSA be thought of a Markov Chain?

I might just be overthinking a very simple question but nonetheless the following has been bugging me a lot. Given an MDP with non-trivial state and action sets, we can implement the SARSA algorithm ...
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Understanding neural network achitectures in policy gradient reinforcement learning for continuous state and action space

I am trying to train a neural network using reinforcement learning / policy gradient methods. The states, i.e. the inputs, as well as the actions I am trying to sample are vectors with each element ...
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How can I discourage the RL agent from drawing in a zero-sum game?

My agent receives $1, 0, -1$ rewards for winning, drawing, and losing the game, respectively. What would be the consequences of setting reward to $-1$ for draws? Would that encourage the agent to win ...
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What is the appropriate way of passing a list of integers that represents the environment to a neural network's dense layer?

I'm training an RL agent using the DQN algorithm to do a specific task. The environment is represented by a list of $10$ integer numbers from $0$ to $20$. An example would be $[5, 15, 8, 8, 0, \dots]$....
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Is Deep SARSA learning a feasible approach?

I noticed that SARSA has been rarely used in the deep RL setting. Usually, the training for DQN is done off-policy. I think one of the major reasons for this is due to greater sample efficiency in ...
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Problems with gradient-biased actor critic methods

To my knowledge, there are at least 6 different variants of Actor Critic: \begin{array}{l l l l} \text{actor gradient} & \text{critic gradient} & \text{actor gradient biased} & \text{name} ...
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What exactly does meta-learning in reinforcement learning setting mean?

We can use DDPG to train agents to stack objects. And stacking objects can be viewed as first grasping followed by pick and place. In this context, how does meta-reinforcement learning fit? Does it ...
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54 views

What is the return-to-go in reinforcement learning?

In reinforcement learning, the return is defined as some function of the rewards. For example, you can have the discounted return, where you multiply the rewards received at later time steps by ...
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1answer
46 views

What are the strategies for computationally heavy environments or long-time waiting environments?

I have an environment that is computationally heavy (takes several seconds to get a reward and next state). This limits reinforcement capability, due to poor sampling of the problem. There is any ...
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Is there a UCB type algorithm for linear stochastic bandit with lasso regression?

Why is there no upper confidence bound algorithm for linear stochastic bandits that uses lasso regression in the case that the regression parameters are sparse in the features? In particular, I don't ...
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1answer
57 views

Are linear approximators better suited to some tasks compared to complex neural net functions?

Model based RL attempts to learn a function $f(s_{t+1}|s_t, a_t)$ representing the environment transitions, otherwise known as a model of the system. I see linear functions are still being used in ...
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Handling a Large Discrete Action Space in Deep Q Learning

I am attempting to solve a timetabling problem using deep Q learning. It could be thought of as a resource allocation problem to obtain some certificate of 'optimality'. However, how to define and ...
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What's an example of a simple policy but a complex value function?

Hado van Hasselt, a researcher at DeepMind, mentioned in one of his videos (from 7:20 to 8:20) on Youtube (about policy gradient methods) that there are cases when the policy is very simple compared ...
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Combine DQN with the Average Reward setting

I have to deal with a non-episodic task, where there is addittionally a continuous state space and more specifically in each time step there is always a new state that has never been seen before. I ...
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25 views

Do we assume the policy to be deterministic when proving the optimality?

In reinforcement learning, when we talk about the principle of optimality, do we assume the policy to be deterministic?
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61 views

Should I use the discounted average reward as objective in a finite-horizon problem?

I am new to reinforcement learning, but, for a finite horizon application problem, I am considering using the average reward instead of the sum of rewards as the objective. Specifically, there are a ...
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Alternatives to Hierarchical RL for centralized control tasks?

Consider a problem where the agent must learn to control a hierarchy of agents acting against another such agent in a competitive environment. The agents on each team need to learn cooperate in order ...
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How to combine two differently equally important signals into the reward function, that have different scales?

I have two signals that I want to use to model my reward. The first one is the CPU TIME: running mean from this diagram: The second one is the MAX RESIDUAL from this diagram: Since they are both ...
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Most of state-action pairs remain unvisited in the q-table

In building my first Q-learning algorithm for OpenAI gym's CartPole problem, many of my states remain unvisited. I believe it is the reason that my agent does not learn. Can I be told of the reasons I ...
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56 views

If the performance of an RL agent in a partially observable environment is “good”, is this likely only accidental?

In my research, I remember to have read that, in case of an environment which can be modeled by partially observable MDP, there are no convergence guarantees (unfortunately, I do not find the paper ...
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347 views

Why is DDPG not learning and it does not converge?

I have used a different setting, but DDPG is not learning and it does not converge. I have used these codes 1,2, and 3 and I used different optimizers, activation functions, and learning rate but ...
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What kind of policy evaluation and policy improvement AlphaGo, AlphaGo Zero and AlphaZero are using

I'm trying to find out what kind of policy improvement and policy evaluation AlphaGo, AlphaGo Zero, and AlphaZero are using. By looking into their respective paper and SI, I can conclude that it is a ...
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Prioritised Remembering in Experience Replay (Q-Learning)

I'm using Experience Replay based on the original Prioritized Experience Replay (PER) paper. In the paper authors show ~ an order of magnitude increase in data efficiency from prioritized sampling. ...
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How can I formulate a prediction problem (given labeled data) as an RL problem and solve it with Q-learning?

One of my friends sent me a problem he was working on lately, and I couldn't help but I wonder how could it be solved using Q-learning. The statement is as follows: Given the following datasets, the ...
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What is the proof that “reward-to-go” reduces variance of policy gradient?

I am following the OpenAI's spinning up tutorial Part 3: Intro to Policy Optimization. It is mentioned there that the reward-to-go reduces the variance of the policy gradient. While I understand the ...
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If the minimum Q value is decreasing and the maximum Q value increasing, is this a sign that dueling double DQN is diverging?

I'm training a dueling double DQN agent with prioritized replay buffer and notice that the min Q values are decreasing, while the max Q values are increasing. Is this a sign that it is diverging? ...
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How can the target rely on untrained parameters?

I'm trying to understand DQN. I understand where the loss function comes from. I'm just unsure about why the target function works in practice. Given the loss function $$ L_i(\theta_i) = [(y_i - Q(s,a;...
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Are the final states not being updated in this $n$-step Q-Learning algorithm?

I am reading this paper and in algorithm 3 they describe an $n$-step Q-Learning algorithm. Below is the pseudo-code. From this pseudo-code, it looks as though the final tuples that they would ...
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72 views

How to prevent deep Q-learning algorithms to overfit?

I have recently solved the Cartpole problem using double deep Q-learning. When I saw how the agent was doing, it used to go right every time, never left, and it did similar actions all the time. Did ...
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Can you find another reason for sample inefficiency of model-free on-policy Deep Reinforcement Learning?

The following mindmap gives an overview of multiple reasons for sample inefficiency. The list is definitely not complete. Can you see another reason not mentioned so far? Some related links: ...
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Can weighted importance sampling be applied to off-policy evaluation for continuous state space MDPs?

Can weighted importance sampling (WIS) and importance sampling (IS) be applied to off-policy evaluation for continuous state spaces MDPs? Given that I have trajectories of $(s_t,a_t)$ pairs and the ...
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Does the concept of validation loss apply to training deep Q networks?

In deep learning, the concept of validation loss is to ensure that the model being trained is not currently overfitting the data. Is there a similar concept of overfitting in deep q learning? Given ...
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Is there an online RL algorithm that receives as input a camera frame and produces an action as output?

I want to build a reinforcement learning model, which takes a camera picture as input, that learns online (in terms of machine learning). Based on the position of an object on the camera, I want the ...
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Can we use a Gaussian process to approximate the belief distribution at every instant in a POMDP?

Suppose $x_{t+1} \sim \mathbb{P}(\cdot | x_t, a_t)$ denotes the state transition dynamics in a reinforcement learning (RL) problem. Let $y_{t+1} = \mathbb{P}(\cdot | x_{t+1})$ denote the noisy ...
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43 views

When to do discretization to decrease the state/action space in RL?

When to do discretization to decrease the state/action space in RL? Can you give me some references that such a technique is used?
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Why is it hard to prove the convergence of the deep Q-learning algorithm?

Why is it hard to prove the convergence of the DQN algorithm? We know that the tabular Q-learning algorithm converges to the optimal Q-values, and with a linear approximator convergence is proved. ...
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1answer
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How long should the state-dependent baseline for policy gradient methods be trained at each iteration?

How long should the state-dependent baseline be trained at each iteration? Or what baseline loss should we target at each iteration for use with policy gradient methods? I'm using this equation to ...
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48 views

Can a typical supervised learning problem be solved with reinforcement learning methods?

Let's say I want to teach a neural to classify images, and, for some reason, I insist on using reinforcement learning rather than supervised learning. I have a dataset of images and their matching ...
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PPO algorithm converges on only one action

I have taken some reference implementations of PPO algorithm and am trying to create an agent which can play space invaders . Unfortunately from the 2nd trial onwards (after training the actor and ...
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Original source of the TD Advantage Actor-Critic algorithm?

What is the original source of the TD Advantage Actor-Critic algorithm? I found the following tutorial really helpful for learning the algorithm: https://medium.com/@asteinbach/actor-critic-using-...
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1answer
56 views

Adversarial Q Learning should use the same Q Table?

I'm creating a RF Q-Learning agent for a two player fully-observable board game and wondered, if I was to train the Q Table using adversarial training, should I let both 'players' use, and update, the ...
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What is the gradient of the Q function with respect to the policy's parameters?

I have been recently studying Actor-Critic algorithms, and I ran into the following question. Let $Q_{\omega}$ be the critic network, and $\pi_{\theta}$ be the actor. It is known that in order to ...
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53 views

How are the classical MDP and the object-oriented MDP views different?

I've been reading the attached paper - which aims to model entities in the world as objects, including the learning agent itself! To say the least, the goal is to navigate through what seems like a ...
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1answer
60 views

How can I sample the output distribution multiple times when pruning the filters with reinforcement learning?

I was reading the paper Learning to Prune Filters in Convolutional Neural Networks, which is about pruning the CNN filters using reinforcement learning (policy gradient). The paper says that the input ...

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