Revisiting Risk-Sensitive MDPs: New Algorithms and Results


  • Ping Hou New Mexico State University
  • William Yeoh New Mexico State University
  • Pradeep Varakantham Singapore Management University



While Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) have been shown to be effective models for planning under uncertainty, the objective to minimize the expected cumulative cost is inappropriate for high-stake planning problems. As such, Yu, Lin, and Yan (1998) introduced the Risk-Sensitive MDP (RS-MDP) model, where the objective is to find a policy that maximizes the probability that the cumulative cost is within some user-defined cost threshold. In this paper, we revisit this problem and introduce new algorithms that are based on classical techniques, such as depth-first search and dynamic programming, and a recently introduced technique called Topological Value Iteration (TVI). We demonstrate the applicability of our approach on randomly generated MDPs as well as domains from the ICAPS 2011 International Probabilistic Planning Competition (IPPC).




How to Cite

Hou, P., Yeoh, W., & Varakantham, P. (2014). Revisiting Risk-Sensitive MDPs: New Algorithms and Results. Proceedings of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, 24(1), 136-144.