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Conference Papers Year : 2011

Classification-based Policy Iteration with a Critic

Alessandro Lazaric
Mohammad Ghavamzadeh
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Bruno Scherrer


In this paper, we study the effect of adding a value function approximation component (critic) to rollout classification-based policy iteration (RCPI) algorithms. The idea is to use a critic to approximate the return after we truncate the rollout trajectories. This allows us to control the bias and variance of the rollout estimates of the action-value function. Therefore, the introduction of a critic can improve the accuracy of the rollout estimates, and as a result, enhance the performance of the RCPI algorithm. We present a new RCPI algorithm, called direct policy iteration with critic (DPI-Critic), and provide its finite-sample analysis when the critic is based on the LSTD method. We empirically evaluate the performance of DPI-Critic and compare it with DPI and LSPI in two benchmark reinforcement learning problems.
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Dates and versions

hal-00644935 , version 1 (25-11-2011)


  • HAL Id : hal-00644935 , version 1


Victor Gabillon, Alessandro Lazaric, Mohammad Ghavamzadeh, Bruno Scherrer. Classification-based Policy Iteration with a Critic. International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), Jun 2011, Seattle, United States. pp.1049-1056. ⟨hal-00644935⟩
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