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Optimism in the Face of Uncertainty Should be Refutable

By Ronald Ortner and Montanuniversität Leoben


We give an example from the theory of Markov decision processes which shows that the “optimism in the face of uncertainty ” heuristics may fail to make any progress. This is due to the impossibility to falsify a belief that a (transition) probability is larger than 0. Our example shows the utility of Popper’s demand of falsifiability of hypotheses in the area of artificial intelligence

Topics: Markov decision processes, refutability, reinforcement learning
Year: 2008
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