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# Sample Complexity of Kernel-Based Q-Learning

*Proceedings of The 26th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 206:453-469, 2023.

#### Abstract

Modern reinforcement learning (RL) often faces an enormous state-action space. Existing analytical results are typically for settings with a small number of state-actions, or simple models such as linearly modeled Q functions. To derive statistically efficient RL policies handling large state-action spaces, with more general Q functions, some recent works have considered nonlinear function approximation using kernel ridge regression. In this work, we derive sample complexities for kernel based Q-learning when a generative model exists. We propose a non-parametric Q-learning algorithm which finds an $\varepsilon$-optimal policy in an arbitrarily large scale discounted MDP. The sample complexity of the proposed algorithm is order optimal with respect to $\varepsilon$ and the complexity of the kernel (in terms of its information gain). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first result showing a finite sample complexity under such a general model.