Thompson Sampling for Learning Parameterized Markov Decision Processes


Aditya Gopalan, Shie Mannor ;
Proceedings of The 28th Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 40:861-898, 2015.


We consider reinforcement learning in parameterized Markov Decision Processes (MDPs), where the parameterization may induce correlation across transition probabilities or rewards. Consequently, observing a particular state transition might yield useful information about other, unobserved, parts of the MDP. We present a version of Thompson sampling for parameterized reinforcement learning problems, and derive a frequentist regret bound for priors over general parameter spaces. The result shows that the number of instants where suboptimal actions are chosen scales logarithmically with time, with high probability. It holds for prior distributions that put significant probability near the true model, without any additional, specific closed-form structure such as conjugate or product-form priors. The constant factor in the logarithmic scaling encodes the information complexity of learning the MDP in terms of the Kullback-Leibler geometry of the parameter space.

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