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470
Reinforcement learning: a survey
 Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
, 1996
"... This paper surveys the field of reinforcement learning from a computerscience perspective. It is written to be accessible to researchers familiar with machine learning. Both the historical basis of the field and a broad selection of current work are summarized. Reinforcement learning is the problem ..."
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Cited by 1580 (25 self)
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This paper surveys the field of reinforcement learning from a computerscience perspective. It is written to be accessible to researchers familiar with machine learning. Both the historical basis of the field and a broad selection of current work are summarized. Reinforcement learning is the problem faced by an agent that learns behavior through trialanderror interactions with a dynamic environment. The work described here has a resemblance to work in psychology, but differs considerably in the details and in the use of the word "reinforcement." The paper discusses central issues of reinforcement learning, including trading off exploration and exploitation, establishing the foundations of the field via Markov decision theory, learning from delayed reinforcement, constructing empirical models to accelerate learning, making use of generalization and hierarchy, and coping with hidden state. It concludes with a survey of some implemented systems and an assessment of the practical utility of current methods for reinforcement learning.
Between MDPs and SemiMDPs: A Framework for Temporal Abstraction in Reinforcement Learning
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1999
"... Learning, planning, and representing knowledge at multiple levels of temporal abstraction are key, longstanding challenges for AI. In this paper we consider how these challenges can be addressed within the mathematical framework of reinforcement learning and Markov decision processes (MDPs). We ..."
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Cited by 536 (38 self)
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Learning, planning, and representing knowledge at multiple levels of temporal abstraction are key, longstanding challenges for AI. In this paper we consider how these challenges can be addressed within the mathematical framework of reinforcement learning and Markov decision processes (MDPs). We extend the usual notion of action in this framework to include optionsclosedloop policies for taking action over a period of time. Examples of options include picking up an object, going to lunch, and traveling to a distant city, as well as primitive actions such as muscle twitches and joint torques. Overall, we show that options enable temporally abstract knowledge and action to be included in the reinforcement learning framework in a natural and general way. In particular, we show that options may be used interchangeably with primitive actions in planning methods such as dynamic programming and in learning methods such as Qlearning.
Improving Elevator Performance Using Reinforcement Learning
 Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 8
, 1996
"... This paper describes the application of reinforcement learning (RL) to the difficult real world problem of elevator dispatching. The elevator domain poses a combination of challenges not seen in most RL research to date. Elevator systems operate in continuous state spaces and in continuous time as d ..."
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Cited by 308 (3 self)
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This paper describes the application of reinforcement learning (RL) to the difficult real world problem of elevator dispatching. The elevator domain poses a combination of challenges not seen in most RL research to date. Elevator systems operate in continuous state spaces and in continuous time as discrete event dynamic systems. Their states are not fully observable and they are nonstationary due to changing passenger arrival rates. In addition, we use a team of RL agents, each of which is responsible for controlling one elevator car. The team receives a global reinforcement signal which appears noisy to each agent due to the effects of the actions of the other agents, the random nature of the arrivals and the incomplete observation of the state. In spite of these complications, we show results that in simulation surpass the best of the heuristic elevator control algorithms of which we are aware. These results demonstrate the power of RL on a very large scale stochastic dynamic optimiz...
Algorithms for Sequential Decision Making
, 1996
"... Sequential decision making is a fundamental task faced by any intelligent agent in an extended interaction with its environment; it is the act of answering the question "What should I do now?" In this thesis, I show how to answer this question when "now" is one of a finite set of ..."
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Cited by 202 (8 self)
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Sequential decision making is a fundamental task faced by any intelligent agent in an extended interaction with its environment; it is the act of answering the question "What should I do now?" In this thesis, I show how to answer this question when "now" is one of a finite set of states, "do" is one of a finite set of actions, "should" is maximize a longrun measure of reward, and "I" is an automated planning or learning system (agent). In particular,
The linear programming approach to approximate dynamic programming
 Operations Research
, 2001
"... The curse of dimensionality gives rise to prohibitive computational requirements that render infeasible the exact solution of largescale stochastic control problems. We study an efficient method based on linear programming for approximating solutions to such problems. The approach “fits ” a linear ..."
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Cited by 197 (17 self)
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The curse of dimensionality gives rise to prohibitive computational requirements that render infeasible the exact solution of largescale stochastic control problems. We study an efficient method based on linear programming for approximating solutions to such problems. The approach “fits ” a linear combination of preselected basis functions to the dynamic programming costtogo function. We develop error bounds that offer performance guarantees and also guide the selection of both basis functions and “staterelevance weights ” that influence quality of the approximation. Experimental results in the domain of queueing network control provide empirical support for the methodology. (Dynamic programming/optimal control: approximations/largescale problems. Queues, algorithms: control of queueing networks.)
Optimizing Dialogue Management with Reinforcement Learning: Experiments with the NJFun System
 Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
, 2002
"... Designing the dialogue policy of a spoken dialogue system involves many nontrivial choices. This paper presents a reinforcement learning approach for automatically optimizing a dialogue policy, which addresses the technical challenges in applying reinforcement learning to a working dialogue system w ..."
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Cited by 156 (11 self)
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Designing the dialogue policy of a spoken dialogue system involves many nontrivial choices. This paper presents a reinforcement learning approach for automatically optimizing a dialogue policy, which addresses the technical challenges in applying reinforcement learning to a working dialogue system with human users. We report on the design, construction and empirical evaluation of NJFun, an experimental spoken dialogue system that provides users with access to information about fun things to do in New Jersey. Our results show that by optimizing its performance via reinforcement learning, NJFun measurably improves system performance.
Relational Reinforcement Learning
, 2001
"... Relational reinforcement learning is presented, a learning technique that combines reinforcement learning with relational learning or inductive logic programming. Due to the use of a more expressive representation language to represent states, actions and Qfunctions, relational reinforcement learni ..."
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Cited by 133 (9 self)
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Relational reinforcement learning is presented, a learning technique that combines reinforcement learning with relational learning or inductive logic programming. Due to the use of a more expressive representation language to represent states, actions and Qfunctions, relational reinforcement learning can be potentially applied to a new range of learning tasks. One such task that we investigate is planning in the blocks world, where it is assumed that the effects of the actions are unknown to the agent and the agent has to learn a policy. Within this simple domain we show that relational reinforcement learning solves some existing problems with reinforcement from specific goals pursued and to exploit the results of previous learning phases when addressing new (more complex) situations.
The Challenge of Poker
 Artificial Intelligence
, 2001
"... Poker is an interesting testbed for arti cial intelligence research. It is a game of imperfect information, where multiple competing agents must deal with probabilistic knowledge, risk assessment, and possible deception, not unlike decisions made in the real world. Opponent modeling is another dicu ..."
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Cited by 133 (10 self)
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Poker is an interesting testbed for arti cial intelligence research. It is a game of imperfect information, where multiple competing agents must deal with probabilistic knowledge, risk assessment, and possible deception, not unlike decisions made in the real world. Opponent modeling is another dicult problem in decisionmaking applications, and it is essential to achieving high performance in poker. This paper describes the design considerations and architecture of the poker program Poki. In addition to methods for hand evaluation and betting strategy, Poki uses learning techniques to construct statistical models of each opponent, and dynamically adapts to exploit observed patterns and tendencies. The result is a program capable of playing reasonably strong poker, but there remains considerable research to be done to play at a worldclass level. 1
An analytic solution to discrete bayesian reinforcement learning
 In Proc. ICML
, 2006
"... Reinforcement learning (RL) was originally proposed as a framework to allow agents to learn in an online fashion as they interact with their environment. Existing RL algorithms come short of achieving this goal because the amount of exploration required is often too costly and/or too time consuming ..."
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Cited by 125 (8 self)
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Reinforcement learning (RL) was originally proposed as a framework to allow agents to learn in an online fashion as they interact with their environment. Existing RL algorithms come short of achieving this goal because the amount of exploration required is often too costly and/or too time consuming for online learning. As a result, RL is mostly used for offline learning in simulated environments. We propose a new algorithm, called BEETLE, for effective online learning that is computationally efficient while minimizing the amount of exploration. We take a Bayesian modelbased approach, framing RL as a partially observable Markov decision process. Our two main contributions are the analytical derivation that the optimal value function is the upper envelope of a set of multivariate polynomials, and an efficient pointbased value iteration algorithm that exploits this simple parameterization. 1.
CoEvolution in the Successful Learning of Backgammon Strategy
 Machine Learning
, 1998
"... Following Tesauro's work on TDGammon, we used a 4000 parameter feedforward neural network to develop a competitive backgammon evaluation function. Play proceeds by a roll of the dice, application of the network to all legal moves, and choosing the move with the highest evaluation. However, no ..."
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Cited by 119 (24 self)
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Following Tesauro's work on TDGammon, we used a 4000 parameter feedforward neural network to develop a competitive backgammon evaluation function. Play proceeds by a roll of the dice, application of the network to all legal moves, and choosing the move with the highest evaluation. However, no backpropagation, reinforcement or temporal difference learning methods were employed. Instead we apply simple hillclimbing in a relative fitness environment. We start with an initial champion of all zero weights and proceed simply by playing the current champion network against a slightly mutated challenger and changing weights if the challenger wins. Surprisingly, this worked rather well. We investigate how the peculiar dynamics of this domain enabled a previously discarded weak method to succeed, by preventing suboptimal equilibria in a "metagame" of selflearning. Keywords: coevolution, backgammon, reinforcement, temporal difference learning, selflearning Running Head: COEVOLUTIONARY LEA...