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# Thompson Sampling Achieves $\tilde{O}(\sqrt{T})$ Regret in Linear Quadratic Control

*Proceedings of Thirty Fifth Conference on Learning Theory*, PMLR 178:3235-3284, 2022.

#### Abstract

Thompson Sampling (TS) is an efficient method for decision-making under uncertainty, where an action is sampled from a carefully prescribed distribution which is updated based on the observed data. In this work, we study the problem of adaptive control of stabilizable linear-quadratic regulators (LQRs) using TS, where the system dynamics are unknown. Previous works have established that $\tilde{O}(\sqrt{T})$ frequentist regret is optimal for the adaptive control of LQRs. However, the existing methods either work only in restrictive settings, require a priori known stabilizing controllers or utilize computationally intractable approaches. We propose an efficient TS algorithm for the adaptive control of LQRs, TS-based Adaptive Control, TSAC, that attains $\tilde{O}(\sqrt{T})$ regret, even for multidimensional systems, thereby solving the open problem posed in Abeille and Lazaric (2018). TSAC does not require a priori known stabilizing controller and achieves fast stabilization of the underlying system by effectively exploring the environment in the early stages. Our result hinges on developing a novel lower bound on the probability that the TS provides an optimistic sample. By carefully prescribing an early exploration strategy and a policy update rule, we show that TS achieves order-optimal regret in adaptive control of multidimensional stabilizable LQRs. We empirically demonstrate the performance and the efficiency of the proposed algorithm in several adaptive control tasks.