Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Model-based approximation methods for reinforcement learning Public Deposited

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  • The thesis focuses on model-based approximation methods for reinforcement learning with large scale applications such as combinatorial optimization problems. First, the thesis proposes two new model-based methods to stablize the value–function approximation for reinforcement learning. The first one is the BFBP algorithm, a batch-like reinforcement learning process which iterates between the exploration and exploitation stages of the learning process. For the exploitation part, this thesis investigates the plausibility and performance of using more efficient offline algorithms such as linear regression, regression trees, and SVMs for value–function approximators. The thesis discovers that with systematic local search methods such as Limited Discrepancy Search and a good initial heuristic, the algorithm often coverges faster and to a better level of performance, compared with epsilon greedy exploration methods. The second method combines linear programming with the kernel trick to find value–function approximators for reinforcement learning. One formulation is based on SVM regression; the second is based on the Bellman equation; and the third seeks only to ensure that good moves have an advantage over bad moves. All formulations attempt to minimize the number of support vectors while fitting the data. The advantage of the kernel methods is that they can easily adjust the complexity of the function approximator to fit the complexity of the value function. The thesis also proposes a model-based policy gradient reinforcement learning algorithm. In our approach, we learn the models P(s′|s, a) and R(s′|s, a), and then use dynamic programming to compute the value of the policy directly from the model. Unlike online sampling-based policy gradient algorithms, it does not suffer from high variances, and it also converges faster. In summary, the thesis purposed model-based approximation algorithms for both value function based and policy gradient reinforcement learning, with promising application results on multiple problem domains and job-shop scheduling benchmarks.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz( on 2006-07-12T16:37:16Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 thesis.pdf: 1052885 bytes, checksum: bc254c805f3fd74c06b3d1bf18729f7c (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Xin Wang ( on 2006-07-06T21:46:57Z No. of bitstreams: 1 thesis.pdf: 1052885 bytes, checksum: bc254c805f3fd74c06b3d1bf18729f7c (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2006-07-24T15:35:59Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 thesis.pdf: 1052885 bytes, checksum: bc254c805f3fd74c06b3d1bf18729f7c (MD5)



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