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There is a difference between accurate value function estimates, and optimal value functions. An optimal value function is more specifically the value function of an optimal policy. Value functions are always specific to some policy, which is why you will often see the subscript $\pi$ in e.g. $v_{\pi}(s)$ when there is a defined policy. The policy evaluation ...


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You appear to comparing the value table update steps in policy iteration and value iteration, which are both derived from Bellman equations. Policy iteration In policy iteration, a policy lookup table is generated, which can be arbitrary. It usually maps a deterministic policy $\pi(s): \mathcal{S} \rightarrow \mathcal{A}$, but can also be of the form $\pi(a|...


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