Perception-Aware Point-Based Value Iteration for Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes

Mahsa Ghasemi, Ufuk Topcu

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) are a widely-used framework to model decision-making with uncertainty about the environment and under stochastic outcome. In conventional POMDP models, the observations that the agent receives originate from fixed known distribution. However, in a variety of real-world scenarios the agent has an active role in its perception by selecting which observations to receive. Due to combinatorial nature of such selection process, it is computationally intractable to integrate the perception decision with the planning decision. To prevent such expansion of the action space, we propose a greedy strategy for observation selection that aims to minimize the uncertainty in state. We develop a novel point-based value iteration algorithm that incorporates the greedy strategy to achieve near-optimal uncertainty reduction for sampled belief points. This in turn enables the solver to efficiently approximate the reachable subspace of belief simplex by essentially separating computations related to perception from planning. Lastly, we implement the proposed solver and demonstrate its performance and computational advantage in a range of robotic scenarios where the robot simultaneously performs active perception and planning.
  • Keywords: partially observable Markov decision processes, active perception, submodular optimization, point-based value iteration, reinforcement learning
  • TL;DR: We develop a point-based value iteration solver for POMDPs with active perception and planning tasks.
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