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228
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 1298 (23 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.
Planning and acting in partially observable stochastic domains
 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
, 1998
"... In this paper, we bring techniques from operations research to bear on the problem of choosing optimal actions in partially observable stochastic domains. We begin by introducing the theory of Markov decision processes (mdps) and partially observable mdps (pomdps). We then outline a novel algorithm ..."
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Cited by 822 (31 self)
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In this paper, we bring techniques from operations research to bear on the problem of choosing optimal actions in partially observable stochastic domains. We begin by introducing the theory of Markov decision processes (mdps) and partially observable mdps (pomdps). We then outline a novel algorithm for solving pomdps offline and show how, in some cases, a finitememory controller can be extracted from the solution to a pomdp. We conclude with a discussion of how our approach relates to previous work, the complexity of finding exact solutions to pomdps, and of some possibilities for finding approximate solutions.
DecisionTheoretic Planning: Structural Assumptions and Computational Leverage
 JOURNAL OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH
, 1999
"... Planning under uncertainty is a central problem in the study of automated sequential decision making, and has been addressed by researchers in many different fields, including AI planning, decision analysis, operations research, control theory and economics. While the assumptions and perspectives ..."
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Cited by 417 (4 self)
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Planning under uncertainty is a central problem in the study of automated sequential decision making, and has been addressed by researchers in many different fields, including AI planning, decision analysis, operations research, control theory and economics. While the assumptions and perspectives adopted in these areas often differ in substantial ways, many planning problems of interest to researchers in these fields can be modeled as Markov decision processes (MDPs) and analyzed using the techniques of decision theory. This paper presents an overview and synthesis of MDPrelated methods, showing how they provide a unifying framework for modeling many classes of planning problems studied in AI. It also describes structural properties of MDPs that, when exhibited by particular classes of problems, can be exploited in the construction of optimal or approximately optimal policies or plans. Planning problems commonly possess structure in the reward and value functions used to de...
Probabilistic robot navigation in partially observable environments
 In Proc. of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI
, 1995
"... Autonomous mobile robots need very reliable navigation capabilities in order to operate unattended for long periods of time. This paper reports on first results of a research program that uses partially observable Markov models to robustly track a robot’s location in office environments and to direc ..."
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Cited by 253 (10 self)
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Autonomous mobile robots need very reliable navigation capabilities in order to operate unattended for long periods of time. This paper reports on first results of a research program that uses partially observable Markov models to robustly track a robot’s location in office environments and to direct its goaloriented actions. The approach explicitly maintains a probability distribution over the possible locations of the robot, taking into account various sources of uncertainty, including approximate knowledge of the environment, and actuator and sensor uncertainty. A novel feature of our approach is its integration of topological map information with approximate metric information. We demonstrate the robustness of this approach in controlling an actual indoor mobile robot navigating corridors. 1
Learning policies for partially observable environments: Scaling up
, 1995
"... Partially observable Markov decision processes (pomdp's) model decision problems in which an agent tries to maximize its reward in the face of limited and/or noisy sensor feedback. While the study of pomdp's is motivated by a need to address realistic problems, existing techniques for finding optim ..."
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Cited by 234 (11 self)
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Partially observable Markov decision processes (pomdp's) model decision problems in which an agent tries to maximize its reward in the face of limited and/or noisy sensor feedback. While the study of pomdp's is motivated by a need to address realistic problems, existing techniques for finding optimal behavior do not appear to scale well and have been unable to find satisfactory policies for problems with more than a dozen states. After a brief review of pomdp's, this paper discusses several simple solution methods and shows that all are capable of finding nearoptimal policies for a selection of extremely small pomdp's taken from the learning literature. In contrast, we show that none are able to solve a slightly larger and noisier problem based on robot navigation. We find that a combination of two novel approaches performs well on these problems and suggest methods for scaling to even larger and more complicated domains. 1 Introduction Mobile robots must act on the basis of thei...
Acting under Uncertainty: Discrete Bayesian Models for MobileRobot Navigation
 In Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
, 1996
"... Discrete Bayesian models have been used to model uncertainty for mobilerobot navigation, but the question of how actions should be chosen remains largely unexplored. This paper presents the optimal solution to the problem, formulated as a partially observable Markov decision process. Since solving ..."
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Cited by 183 (12 self)
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Discrete Bayesian models have been used to model uncertainty for mobilerobot navigation, but the question of how actions should be chosen remains largely unexplored. This paper presents the optimal solution to the problem, formulated as a partially observable Markov decision process. Since solving for the optimal control policy is intractable, in general, it goes on to explore a variety of heuristic control strategies. The control strategies are compared experimentally, both in simulation and in runs on a robot. 1 Introduction A robot that delivers items and performs errands in an office environment needs to be able to navigate robustly. It should be able to overcome errors in perception and action, at worst getting lost for some period of time, but then being able to recover by relocalizing itself and continuing with its task. The Bayesian framework is particularly appropriate for modeling the robot's belief about its location (or, more generally, the state of the world). It suppl...
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 states, "do" is one ..."
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Cited by 175 (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,
Planning Under Time Constraints in Stochastic Domains
 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
, 1993
"... We provide a method, based on the theory of Markov decision processes, for efficient planning in stochastic domains. Goals are encoded as reward functions, expressing the desirability of each world state; the planner must find a policy (mapping from states to actions) that maximizes future reward ..."
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Cited by 162 (19 self)
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We provide a method, based on the theory of Markov decision processes, for efficient planning in stochastic domains. Goals are encoded as reward functions, expressing the desirability of each world state; the planner must find a policy (mapping from states to actions) that maximizes future rewards. Standard goals of achievement, as well as goals of maintenance and prioritized combinations of goals, can be specified in this way. An optimal policy can be found using existing methods, but these methods require time at best polynomial in the number of states in the domain, where the number of states is exponential in the number of propositions (or state variables). By using information about the starting state, the reward function, and the transition probabilities of the domain, we restrict the planner's attention to a set of world states that are likely to be encountered in satisfying the goal. Using this restricted set of states, the planner can generate more or less complete ...
Incremental Pruning: A Simple, Fast, Exact Method for Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes
 In Proceedings of the Thirteenth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence
, 1997
"... Most exact algorithms for general partially observable Markov decision processes (pomdps) use a form of dynamic programming in which a piecewiselinear and convex representation of one value function is transformed into another. We examine variations of the "incremental pruning" method for solving t ..."
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Cited by 157 (10 self)
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Most exact algorithms for general partially observable Markov decision processes (pomdps) use a form of dynamic programming in which a piecewiselinear and convex representation of one value function is transformed into another. We examine variations of the "incremental pruning" method for solving this problem and compare them to earlier algorithms from theoretical and empirical perspectives. We find that incremental pruning is presently the most efficient exact method for solving pomdps. 1 INTRODUCTION Partially observable Markov decision processes (pomdps) model decision theoretic planning problems in which an agent must make a sequence of decisions to maximize its utility given uncertainty in the effects of its actions and its current state (Cassandra, Kaelbling, & Littman 1994; White 1991). At any moment in time, the agent is in one of a finite set of possible states S and must choose one of a finite set of possible actions A. After taking action a 2 A from state s 2 S, the agent...
Stochastic Dynamic Programming with Factored Representations
, 1997
"... Markov decision processes(MDPs) have proven to be popular models for decisiontheoretic planning, but standard dynamic programming algorithms for solving MDPs rely on explicit, statebased specifications and computations. To alleviate the combinatorial problems associated with such methods, we propo ..."
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Cited by 145 (10 self)
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Markov decision processes(MDPs) have proven to be popular models for decisiontheoretic planning, but standard dynamic programming algorithms for solving MDPs rely on explicit, statebased specifications and computations. To alleviate the combinatorial problems associated with such methods, we propose new representational and computational techniques for MDPs that exploit certain types of problem structure. We use dynamic Bayesian networks (with decision trees representing the local families of conditional probability distributions) to represent stochastic actions in an MDP, together with a decisiontree representation of rewards. Based on this representation, we develop versions of standard dynamic programming algorithms that directly manipulate decisiontree representations of policies and value functions. This generally obviates the need for statebystate computation, aggregating states at the leaves of these trees and requiring computations only for each aggregate state. The key to these algorithms is a decisiontheoretic generalization of classic regression analysis, in which we determine the features relevant to predicting expected value. We demonstrate the method empirically on several planning problems,