Reinforcement Learning under Model Risk for Biomanufacturing Fermentation Control

01/11/2021 ∙ by Bo Wang, et al. ∙ 22

In the biopharmaceutical manufacturing, fermentation process plays a critical role impacting on productivity and profit. Since biotherapeutics are manufactured in living cells whose biological mechanisms are complex and have highly variable outputs, in this paper, we introduce a model-based reinforcement learning framework accounting for model risk to support bioprocess online learning and guide the optimal and robust customized stopping policy for fermentation process. Specifically, built on the dynamic mechanisms of protein and impurity generation, we first construct a probabilistic model characterizing the impact of underlying bioprocess stochastic uncertainty on impurity and protein growth rates. Since biopharmaceutical manufacturing often has very limited data during the development and early stage of production, we derive the posterior distribution quantifying the process model risk, and further develop the Bayesian rule based knowledge update to support the online learning on underlying stochastic process. With the prediction risk accounting for both bioprocess stochastic uncertainty and model risk, the proposed reinforcement learning framework can proactively hedge all sources of uncertainties and support the optimal and robust customized decision making. We conduct the structural analysis of optimal policy and study the impact of model risk on the policy selection. We can show that it asymptotically converges to the optimal policy obtained under perfect information of underlying stochastic process. Our case studies demonstrate that the proposed framework can greatly improve the biomanufacturing industrial practice.

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