Structure in Deep Reinforcement Learning: A Survey and Open Problems

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  • University of Texas at Austin
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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Artificial Intelligence Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jan 2024

Abstract

Reinforcement Learning (RL), bolstered by the expressive capabilities of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) for function approximation, has demonstrated considerable success in numerous applications. However, its practicality in addressing a wide range of real-world scenarios, characterized by diverse and unpredictable dynamics, noisy signals, and large state and action spaces, remains limited. This limitation stems from issues such as poor data efficiency, limited generalization capabilities, a lack of safety guarantees, and the absence of interpretability, among other factors. To overcome these challenges and improve performance across these crucial metrics, one promising avenue is to incorporate additional structural information about the problem into the RL learning process. Various sub-fields of RL have proposed methods for incorporating such inductive biases. We amalgamate these diverse methodologies under a unified framework, shedding light on the role of structure in the learning problem, and classify these methods into distinct patterns of incorporating structure. By leveraging this comprehensive framework, we provide valuable insights into the challenges associated with structured RL and lay the groundwork for a design pattern perspective on RL research. This novel perspective paves the way for future advancements and aids in the development of more effective and efficient RL algorithms that can potentially handle real-world scenarios better.

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Structure in Deep Reinforcement Learning: A Survey and Open Problems. / Mohan, Aditya; Zhang, Amy; Lindauer, Marius.
In: Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 20.01.2024.

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