Nonstationary Reinforcement Learning with Linear Function Approximation

10/08/2020 ∙ by Huozhi Zhou, et al. ∙ 0

We consider reinforcement learning (RL) in episodic Markov decision processes (MDPs) with linear function approximation under drifting environment. Specifically, both the reward and state transition functions can evolve over time, as long as their respective total variations, quantified by suitable metrics, do not exceed certain variation budgets. We first develop the LSVI-UCB-Restart algorithm, an optimistic modification of least-squares value iteration combined with periodic restart, and establish its dynamic regret bound when variation budgets are known. We then propose a parameter-free algorithm, Ada-LSVI-UCB-Restart, that works without knowing the variation budgets, but with a slightly worse dynamic regret bound. We also derive the first minimax dynamic regret lower bound for nonstationary MDPs to show that our proposed algorithms are near-optimal. As a byproduct, we establish a minimax regret lower bound for linear MDPs, which is unsolved by <cit.>. In addition, we provide numerical experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed algorithms. As far as we know, this is the first dynamic regret analysis in nonstationary reinforcement learning with function approximation.

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