Bayesian Transfer Reinforcement Learning with Prior Knowledge Rules

30 Sep 2018  ·  Michalis K. Titsias, Sotirios Nikoloutsopoulos ·

We propose a probabilistic framework to directly insert prior knowledge in reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms by defining the behaviour policy as a Bayesian posterior distribution. Such a posterior combines task specific information with prior knowledge, thus allowing to achieve transfer learning across tasks. The resulting method is flexible and it can be easily incorporated to any standard off-policy and on-policy algorithms, such as those based on temporal differences and policy gradients. We develop a specific instance of this Bayesian transfer RL framework by expressing prior knowledge as general deterministic rules that can be useful in a large variety of tasks, such as navigation tasks. Also, we elaborate more on recent probabilistic and entropy-regularised RL by developing a novel temporal learning algorithm and show how to combine it with Bayesian transfer RL. Finally, we demonstrate our method for solving mazes and show that significant speed ups can be obtained.

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