On Value Function Representation of Long Horizon Problems


  • Lucas Lehnert Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • Romain Laroche Microsoft Maluuba, Montreal, QC
  • Harm van Seijen Microsoft Maluuba, Montreal, QC




Reinforcement Learning


In Reinforcement Learning, an intelligent agent has to make a sequence of decisions to accomplish a goal. If this sequence is long, then the agent has to plan over a long horizon. While learning the optimal policy and its value function is a well studied problem in Reinforcement Learning, this paper focuses on the structure of the optimal value function and how hard it is to represent the optimal value function. We show that the generalized Rademacher complexity of the hypothesis space of all optimal value functions is dependent on the planning horizon and independent of the state and action space size. Further, we present bounds on the action-gaps of action value functions and show that they can collapse if a long planning horizon is used. The theoretical results are verified empirically on randomly generated MDPs and on a grid-world fruit collection task using deep value function approximation. Our theoretical results highlight a connection between value function approximation and the Options framework and suggest that value functions should be decomposed along bottlenecks of the MDP's transition dynamics.




How to Cite

Lehnert, L., Laroche, R., & van Seijen, H. (2018). On Value Function Representation of Long Horizon Problems. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 32(1). https://doi.org/10.1609/aaai.v32i1.11646