Keywords: Reinforcement learning, actor-critic, continuous control
TL;DR: This paper proposes a novel actor-critic method that uses Hessians of a critic to update an actor.
Abstract: Actor-critic methods solve reinforcement learning problems by updating a parameterized policy known as an actor in a direction that increases an estimate of the expected return known as a critic. However, existing actor-critic methods only use values or gradients of the critic to update the policy parameter. In this paper, we propose a novel actor-critic method called the guide actor-critic (GAC). GAC firstly learns a guide actor that locally maximizes the critic and then it updates the policy parameter based on the guide actor by supervised learning. Our main theoretical contributions are two folds. First, we show that GAC updates the guide actor by performing second-order optimization in the action space where the curvature matrix is based on the Hessians of the critic. Second, we show that the deterministic policy gradient method is a special case of GAC when the Hessians are ignored. Through experiments, we show that our method is a promising reinforcement learning method for continuous controls.
Code: [![github](/images/github_icon.svg) voot-t/guide-actor-critic](https://github.com/voot-t/guide-actor-critic)
Data: [OpenAI Gym](https://paperswithcode.com/dataset/openai-gym)
Community Implementations: [![CatalyzeX](/images/catalyzex_icon.svg) 2 code implementations](https://www.catalyzex.com/paper/arxiv:1705.07606/code)