Section: New Software and Platforms


Bayesian Policy Gradient and Actor-Critic Algorithms

Keywords: Machine learning - Incremental learning - Policy Learning

Functional Description

To address this issue, we proceed to supplement our Bayesian policy gradient framework with a new actor-critic learning model in which a Bayesian class of non-parametric critics, based on Gaussian process temporal difference learning, is used. Such critics model the action-value function as a Gaussian process, allowing Bayes’ rule to be used in computing the posterior distribution over action-value functions, conditioned on the observed data. Appropriate choices of the policy parameterization and of the prior covariance (kernel) between action-values allow us to obtain closed-form expressions for the posterior distribution of the gradient of the expected return with respect to the policy parameters. We perform detailed experimental comparisons of the proposed Bayesian policy gradient and actor-critic algorithms with classic Monte-Carlo based policy gradient methods, as well as with each other, on a number of reinforcement learning problems.