Provably Efficient Representation Learning in Low-rank Markov Decision Processes

06/22/2021 ∙ by Weitong Zhang, et al. ∙ 27

The success of deep reinforcement learning (DRL) is due to the power of learning a representation that is suitable for the underlying exploration and exploitation task. However, existing provable reinforcement learning algorithms with linear function approximation often assume the feature representation is known and fixed. In order to understand how representation learning can improve the efficiency of RL, we study representation learning for a class of low-rank Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) where the transition kernel can be represented in a bilinear form. We propose a provably efficient algorithm called ReLEX that can simultaneously learn the representation and perform exploration. We show that ReLEX always performs no worse than a state-of-the-art algorithm without representation learning, and will be strictly better in terms of sample efficiency if the function class of representations enjoys a certain mild "coverage” property over the whole state-action space.



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