Harnessing Structures for Value-Based Planning and Reinforcement Learning

09/26/2019 ∙ by Yuzhe Yang, et al. ∙ 0

Value-based methods constitute a fundamental methodology in planning and deep reinforcement learning (RL). In this paper, we propose to exploit the underlying structures of the state-action value function, i.e., Q function, for both planning and deep RL. In particular, if the underlying system dynamics lead to some global structures of the Q function, one should be capable of inferring the function better by leveraging such structures. Specifically, we investigate the lowrank structure, which widely exists for big data matrices. We verify empirically the existence of low-rank Q functions in the context of control and deep RL tasks (Atari games). As our key contribution, by leveraging Matrix Estimation (ME) techniques, we propose a general framework to exploit the underlying low-rank structure in Q functions, leading to a more efficient planning procedure for classical control, and additionally, a simple scheme that can be applied to any value-based RL techniques to consistently achieve better performance on "low-rank" tasks. Extensive experiments on control tasks and Atari games confirm the efficacy of our approach.

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