Expressiveness in Deep Reinforcement Learning

Xufang Luo, Qi Meng, Di He, Wei Chen, Yunhong Wang, Tie-Yan Liu

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Representation learning in reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms focuses on extracting useful features for choosing good actions. Expressive representations are essential for learning well-performed policies. In this paper, we study the relationship between the state representation assigned by the state extractor and the performance of the RL agent. We observe that representations assigned by the better state extractor are more scattered than which assigned by the worse one. Moreover, RL agents achieving high performances always have high rank matrices which are composed by their representations. Based on our observations, we formally define expressiveness of the state extractor as the rank of the matrix composed by representations. Therefore, we propose to promote expressiveness so as to improve algorithm performances, and we call it Expressiveness Promoted DRL. We apply our method on both policy gradient and value-based algorithms, and experimental results on 55 Atari games show the superiority of our proposed method.
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