Frequency-based Search-control in DynaDownload PDF

Sep 25, 2019 (edited Mar 11, 2020)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • TL;DR: Acquire states from high frequency region for search-control in Dyna.
  • Abstract: Model-based reinforcement learning has been empirically demonstrated as a successful strategy to improve sample efficiency. In particular, Dyna is an elegant model-based architecture integrating learning and planning that provides huge flexibility of using a model. One of the most important components in Dyna is called search-control, which refers to the process of generating state or state-action pairs from which we query the model to acquire simulated experiences. Search-control is critical in improving learning efficiency. In this work, we propose a simple and novel search-control strategy by searching high frequency regions of the value function. Our main intuition is built on Shannon sampling theorem from signal processing, which indicates that a high frequency signal requires more samples to reconstruct. We empirically show that a high frequency function is more difficult to approximate. This suggests a search-control strategy: we should use states from high frequency regions of the value function to query the model to acquire more samples. We develop a simple strategy to locally measure the frequency of a function by gradient and hessian norms, and provide theoretical justification for this approach. We then apply our strategy to search-control in Dyna, and conduct experiments to show its property and effectiveness on benchmark domains.
  • Keywords: Model-based reinforcement learning, search-control, Dyna, frequency of a signal
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