Intrinsically-Motivated Reinforcement Learning: A Brief Introduction

3 Mar 2022  ·  Mingqi Yuan ·

Reinforcement learning (RL) is one of the three basic paradigms of machine learning. It has demonstrated impressive performance in many complex tasks like Go and StarCraft, which is increasingly involved in smart manufacturing and autonomous driving. However, RL consistently suffers from the exploration-exploitation dilemma. In this paper, we investigated the problem of improving exploration in RL and introduced the intrinsically-motivated RL. In sharp contrast to the classic exploration strategies, intrinsically-motivated RL utilizes the intrinsic learning motivation to provide sustainable exploration incentives. We carefully classified the existing intrinsic reward methods and analyzed their practical drawbacks. Moreover, we proposed a new intrinsic reward method via R\'enyi state entropy maximization, which overcomes the drawbacks of the preceding methods and provides powerful exploration incentives. Finally, extensive simulation demonstrated that the proposed module achieve superior performance with higher efficiency and robustness.

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