A Greedy Approximation of Bayesian Reinforcement Learning with Probably Optimistic Transition Model

03/13/2013 ∙ by Kenji Kawaguchi, et al. ∙ 0

Bayesian Reinforcement Learning (RL) is capable of not only incorporating domain knowledge, but also solving the exploration-exploitation dilemma in a natural way. As Bayesian RL is intractable except for special cases, previous work has proposed several approximation methods. However, these methods are usually too sensitive to parameter values, and finding an acceptable parameter setting is practically impossible in many applications. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm that greedily approximates Bayesian RL to achieve robustness in parameter space. We show that for a desired learning behavior, our proposed algorithm has a polynomial sample complexity that is lower than those of existing algorithms. We also demonstrate that the proposed algorithm naturally outperforms other existing algorithms when the prior distributions are not significantly misleading. On the other hand, the proposed algorithm cannot handle greatly misspecified priors as well as the other algorithms can. This is a natural consequence of the fact that the proposed algorithm is greedier than the other algorithms. Accordingly, we discuss a way to select an appropriate algorithm for different tasks based on the algorithms' greediness. We also introduce a new way of simplifying Bayesian planning, based on which future work would be able to derive new algorithms.

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