Semiparametric Reinforcement LearningDownload PDF

12 Feb 2018 (modified: 05 May 2023)ICLR 2018 Workshop SubmissionReaders: Everyone
Abstract: We introduce a semiparametric approach to deep reinforcement learning inspired by complementary learning systems theory in cognitive neuroscience. Our approach allows a neural network to integrate nonparametric, episodic memory-based computations with parametric statistical learning in an end-to-end fashion. We give a deep Q network access to intermediate and final results of a differentiable approximation to k-nearest-neighbors performed on a dictionary of historic state-action embeddings. Our method displays the early-learning advantage associated with episodic memory-based algorithms while mitigating the asymptotic performance disadvantage suffered by such approaches. In several cases we find that our model learns even more quickly from few examples than pure kNN-based approaches. Analysis shows that our semiparametric algorithm relies heavily on the kNN output early on and less so as training progresses, which is consistent with complementary learning systems theory.
Keywords: deep learning, nonparametric, episodic learning, nearest neighbors, complementary learning systems, reinforcement learning
TL;DR: Combining parametric and nonparametric methods in RL problems yields fast learning while maintaining good final performance.
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