An Experimental Study of Advice in Sequential Decision-Making Under Uncertainty
We consider sequential decision making problems under uncertainty, in which a user has a general idea of the task to achieve, and gives advice to an agent in charge of computing an optimal policy. Many different notions of advice have been proposed in somewhat different settings, especially in the field of inverse reinforcement learning and for resolution of Markov Decision Problems with Imprecise Rewards. Two key questions are whether the advice required by a specific method is natural for the user to give, and how much advice is needed for the agent to compute a good policy, as evaluated by the user. We give a unified view of a number of proposals made in the literature, and propose a new notion of advice, which corresponds to a user telling why she would take a given action in a given state. For all these notions, we discuss their naturalness for a user and the integration of advice. We then report on an experimental study of the amount of advice needed for the agent to compute a good policy. Our study shows in particular that continual interaction between the user and the agent is worthwhile, and sheds light on the pros and cons of each type of advice.