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- TL;DR: theoretical and experimental results for novel tree search algorithm that efficiently finds optimal policy
- Abstract: Combined with policy and value neural networks, Monte Carlos Tree Search (MCTS) is a critical component of the recent success of AI agents in learning to play board games like Chess and Go (Silver et al., 2017). However, the theoretical foundations of MCTS with policy and value networks remains open. Inspired by MCTS, we propose A⋆MCTS, a novel search algorithm that uses both the policy and value predictors to guide search and enjoys theoretical guarantees. Specifically, assuming that value and policy networks give reasonably accurate signals of the values of each state and action, the sample complexity (number of calls to the value network) to estimate the value of the current state, as well as the optimal one-step action to take from the current state, can be bounded. We apply our theoretical framework to different models for the noise distribution of the policy and value network as well as the distribution of rewards, and show that for these general models, the sample complexity is polynomial in D, where D is the depth of the search tree. Empirically, our method outperforms MCTS in these models.
- Keywords: tree search, reinforcement learning, value neural network, policy neural network