Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 13 Feb 2023Submitted to ICLR 2023Readers: Everyone
Keywords: Sequential Decision-Making, Reinforcement Learning, Learning Abstract Representations
Abstract: In many real-world problems, the learning agent needs to learn a problem’s abstractions and solution simultaneously. However, most such abstractions need to be designed and refined by hand for different problems and domains of application. This paper presents a novel top-down approach for constructing state abstractions while carrying out reinforcement learning. Starting with state variables and a simulator, it presents a novel domain-independent approach for dynamically computing an abstraction based on the dispersion of Q-values in abstract states as the agent continues acting and learning. Extensive empirical evaluation on multiple domains and problems shows that this approach automatically learns abstractions that are finely-tuned to the problem, yield powerful sample efficiency, and result in the RL agent significantly outperforming existing approaches.
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