Optimistic Policy Optimization with Bandit Feedback

Jul 12, 2020

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Policy optimization methods are one of the most widely used classes of Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms. Yet, so far, such methods have been mostly analyzed from an optimization perspective, without addressing the problem of exploration, or by making strong assumptions on the interaction with the environment. In this paper we consider model-based RL in the tabular finite-horizon MDP setting with unknown transitions and bandit feedback. For this setting, we propose an optimistic trust region policy optimization (TRPO) algorithm for which we establish Õ(√(S^2 A H^4 K)) regret for stochastic rewards. Furthermore, we prove Õ( √( S^2 A H^4 ) K^2/3 ) regret for adversarial rewards. Interestingly, this result matches previous bounds derived for the bandit feedback case, yet with known transitions. To the best of our knowledge, the two results are the first sub-linear regret bounds obtained for policy optimization algorithms with unknown transitions and bandit feedback.

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The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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