Signal-to-Noise Ratio Analysis of Policy Gradient Algorithms

Policy gradient (PG) reinforcement learning algorithms have strong (local) convergence guarantees, but their learning performance is typically limited by a large variance in the estimate of the gradient. In this paper, we formulate the variance reduction problem by describing a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for policy gradient algorithms, and evaluate this SNR carefully for the popular Weight Perturbation (WP) algorithm... (read more)

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