Learning the Arrow of TimeDownload PDF


12 Jun 2019 (modified: 28 Jun 2019)OpenReview Anonymous Preprint Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Abstract: We humans seem to have an innate understanding of the asymmetric progression of time, which we use to efficiently and safely perceive and manipulate our environment. Drawing inspiration from that, we address the problem of learning an arrow of time in a Markov (Decision) Process. We illustrate how a learned arrow of time can capture meaningful information about the environment, which in turn can be used to measure reachability, detect side-effects and to obtain an intrinsic reward signal. We show empirical results on a selection of discrete and continuous environments, and demonstrate for a class of stochastic processes that the learned arrow of time agrees reasonably well with a known notion of an arrow of time given by the celebrated Jordan-Kinderlehrer-Otto result.
  • Keywords: reinforcement learning, causal inference
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