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Motivated Reinforcement Learning
, 2001
"... The standard reinforcement learning view of the involvement of neuromodulatory systems in instrumental conditioning includes a rather straightforward conception of motivation as prediction of sum future reward. Competition between actions is based on the motivating characteristics of their consequen ..."
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Cited by 330 (15 self)
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The standard reinforcement learning view of the involvement of neuromodulatory systems in instrumental conditioning includes a rather straightforward conception of motivation as prediction of sum future reward. Competition between actions is based on the motivating characteristics of their consequent states in this sense. Substantial, careful, experiments reviewed in Dickinson & Balleine, into the neurobiology and psychology of motivation shows that this view is incomplete. In many cases, animals are faced with the choice not between many different actions at a given state, but rather whether a single response is worth executing at all. Evidence suggests that the motivational process underlying this choice has different psychological and neural properties from that underlying action choice. We describe and model these motivational systems, and consider the way they interact.
Selfimproving reactive agents based on reinforcement learning, planning and teaching
 Machine Learning
, 1992
"... Abstract. To date, reinforcement learning has mostly been studied solving simple learning tasks. Reinforcement learning methods that have been studied so far typically converge slowly. The purpose of this work is thus twofold: 1) to investigate the utility of reinforcement learning in solving much ..."
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Cited by 316 (3 self)
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Abstract. To date, reinforcement learning has mostly been studied solving simple learning tasks. Reinforcement learning methods that have been studied so far typically converge slowly. The purpose of this work is thus twofold: 1) to investigate the utility of reinforcement learning in solving much more complicated learning tasks than previously studied, and 2) to investigate methods that will speed up reinforcement learning. This paper compares eight reinforcement learning frameworks: adaptive heuristic critic (AHC) learning due to Sutton, Qlearning due to Watkins, and three extensions to both basic methods for speeding up learning. The three extensions are experience replay, learning action models for planning, and teaching. The frameworks were investigated using connectionism as an approach to generalization. To evaluate the performance of different frameworks, a dynamic environment was used as a testbed. The enviromaaent is moderately complex and nondeterministic. This paper describes these frameworks and algorithms in detail and presents empirical evaluation of the frameworks.
Generalization in Reinforcement Learning: Safely Approximating the Value Function
 Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7
, 1995
"... To appear in: G. Tesauro, D. S. Touretzky and T. K. Leen, eds., Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1995. A straightforward approach to the curse of dimensionality in reinforcement learning and dynamic programming is to replace the lookup table with a genera ..."
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Cited by 313 (3 self)
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To appear in: G. Tesauro, D. S. Touretzky and T. K. Leen, eds., Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1995. A straightforward approach to the curse of dimensionality in reinforcement learning and dynamic programming is to replace the lookup table with a generalizing function approximator such as a neural net. Although this has been successful in the domain of backgammon, there is no guarantee of convergence. In this paper, we show that the combination of dynamic programming and function approximation is not robust, and in even very benign cases, may produce an entirely wrong policy. We then introduce GrowSupport, a new algorithm which is safe from divergence yet can still reap the benefits of successful generalization. 1 INTRODUCTION Reinforcement learningthe problem of getting an agent to learn to act from sparse, delayed rewardshas been advanced by techniques based on dynamic programming (DP). These algorithms compute a value function ...
Residual Algorithms: Reinforcement Learning with Function Approximation
 In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Machine Learning
, 1995
"... A number of reinforcement learning algorithms have been developed that are guaranteed to converge to the optimal solution when used with lookup tables. It is shown, however, that these algorithms can easily become unstable when implemented directly with a general functionapproximation system, such ..."
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Cited by 310 (6 self)
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A number of reinforcement learning algorithms have been developed that are guaranteed to converge to the optimal solution when used with lookup tables. It is shown, however, that these algorithms can easily become unstable when implemented directly with a general functionapproximation system, such as a sigmoidal multilayer perceptron, a radialbasisfunction system, a memorybased learning system, or even a linear functionapproximation system. A new class of algorithms, residual gradient algorithms, is proposed, which perform gradient descent on the mean squared Bellman residual, guaranteeing convergence. It is shown, however, that they may learn very slowly in some cases. A larger class of algorithms, residual algorithms, is proposed that has the guaranteed convergence of the residual gradient algorithms, yet can retain the fast learning speed of direct algorithms. In fact, both direct and residual gradient algorithms are shown to be special cases of residual algorithms, and it is s...
Nearoptimal reinforcement learning in polynomial time
 Machine Learning
, 1998
"... We present new algorithms for reinforcement learning, and prove that they have polynomial bounds on the resources required to achieve nearoptimal return in general Markov decision processes. After observing that the number of actions required to approach the optimal return is lower bounded by the m ..."
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Cited by 305 (5 self)
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We present new algorithms for reinforcement learning, and prove that they have polynomial bounds on the resources required to achieve nearoptimal return in general Markov decision processes. After observing that the number of actions required to approach the optimal return is lower bounded by the mixing time T of the optimal policy (in the undiscounted case) or by the horizon time T (in the discounted case), we then give algorithms requiring a number of actions and total computation time that are only polynomial in T and the number of states, for both the undiscounted and discounted cases. An interesting aspect of our algorithms is their explicit handling of the ExplorationExploitation tradeoff. 1
Linear leastsquares algorithms for temporal difference learning
 Machine Learning
, 1996
"... Abstract. We introduce two new temporal difference (TD) algorithms based on the theory of linear leastsquares function approximation. We define an algorithm we call LeastSquares TD (LS TD) for which we prove probabilityone convergence when it is used with a function approximator linear in the adju ..."
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Cited by 261 (1 self)
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Abstract. We introduce two new temporal difference (TD) algorithms based on the theory of linear leastsquares function approximation. We define an algorithm we call LeastSquares TD (LS TD) for which we prove probabilityone convergence when it is used with a function approximator linear in the adjustable parameters. We then define a recursive version of this algorithm, Recursive LeastSquares TD (RLS TD). Although these new TD algorithms require more computation per timestep than do Sutton's TD(A) algorithms, they are more efficient in a statistical sense because they extract more information from training experiences. We describe a simulation experiment showing the substantial improvement in learning rate achieved by RLS TD in an example Markov prediction problem. To quantify this improvement, we introduce the TD error variance of a Markov chain, arc,, and experimentally conclude that the convergence rate of a TD algorithm depends linearly on ~ro. In addition to converging more rapidly, LS TD and RLS TD do not have control parameters, such as a learning rate parameter, thus eliminating the possibility of achieving poor performance by an unlucky choice of parameters.
The partigame algorithm for variable resolution reinforcement learning in multidimensional statespaces
 MACHINE LEARNING
, 1995
"... Partigame is a new algorithm for learning feasible trajectories to goal regions in high dimensional continuous statespaces. In high dimensions it is essential that learning does not plan uniformly over a statespace. Partigame maintains a decisiontree partitioning of statespace and applies tec ..."
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Cited by 258 (8 self)
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Partigame is a new algorithm for learning feasible trajectories to goal regions in high dimensional continuous statespaces. In high dimensions it is essential that learning does not plan uniformly over a statespace. Partigame maintains a decisiontree partitioning of statespace and applies techniques from gametheory and computational geometry to efficiently and adaptively concentrate high resolution only on critical areas. The current version of the algorithm is designed to find feasible paths or trajectories to goal regions in high dimensional spaces. Future versions will be designed to find a solution that optimizes a realvalued criterion. Many simulated problems have been tested, ranging from twodimensional to ninedimensional statespaces, including mazes, path planning, nonlinear dynamics, and planar snake robots in restricted spaces. In all cases, a good solution is found in less than ten trials and a few minutes.
Convergence of Stochastic Iterative Dynamic Programming Algorithms
 Neural Computation
, 1994
"... Increasing attention has recently been paid to algorithms based on dynamic programming (DP) due to the suitability of DP for learning problems involving control. In stochastic environments where the system being controlled is only incompletely known, however, a unifying theoretical account of th ..."
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Cited by 257 (8 self)
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Increasing attention has recently been paid to algorithms based on dynamic programming (DP) due to the suitability of DP for learning problems involving control. In stochastic environments where the system being controlled is only incompletely known, however, a unifying theoretical account of the behavior of these methods has been missing. In this paper we relate DPbased learning algorithms to powerful techniques of stochastic approximation via a new convergence theorem, enabling us to establish a class of convergent algorithms to which both TD() and Qlearning belong. 1
Modeling Adaptive Autonomous Agents
 Artificial Life
, 1994
"... One category of researchers in artificial life is concerned with modeling and building socalled adaptive autonomous agents. Autonomous agents are systems that inhabit a dynamic, unpredictable environment in which they try to satisfy a set of timedependent goals or motivations. Agents are said to b ..."
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Cited by 251 (2 self)
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One category of researchers in artificial life is concerned with modeling and building socalled adaptive autonomous agents. Autonomous agents are systems that inhabit a dynamic, unpredictable environment in which they try to satisfy a set of timedependent goals or motivations. Agents are said to be adaptive if they improve their competence at dealing with these goals based on experience. Autonomous agents constitute a new approach to the study of artificial intelligence (AI) which is highly inspired by biology, in particular ethology, the study of animal behavior. Research in autonomous agents has brought about a new wave of excitement into the field of AI. This paper reflects on the state of the art of this new approach.
Packet Routing in Dynamically Changing Networks: A Reinforcement Learning Approach
 Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 6
, 1994
"... This paper describes the Qrouting algorithm for packet routing, in which a reinforcement learning module is embedded into each node of a switching network. Only local communication is used by each node to keep accurate statistics on which routing decisions lead to minimal delivery times. In simple ..."
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Cited by 228 (3 self)
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This paper describes the Qrouting algorithm for packet routing, in which a reinforcement learning module is embedded into each node of a switching network. Only local communication is used by each node to keep accurate statistics on which routing decisions lead to minimal delivery times. In simple experiments involving a 36node, irregularly connected network, Qrouting proves superior to a nonadaptive algorithm based on precomputed shortest paths and is able to route efficiently even when critical aspects of the simulation, such as the network load, are allowed to vary dynamically. The paper concludes with a discussion of the tradeoff between discovering shortcuts and maintaining stable policies. 1 INTRODUCTION The field of reinforcement learning has grown dramatically over the past several years, but with the exception of backgammon [8, 2], has had few successful applications to largescale, practical tasks. This paper demonstrates that the practical task of routing packets through...