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Automatic discovery and transfer of MAXQ hierarchies

By Neville Mehta, Soumya Ray, Prasad Tadepalli and Thomas Dietterich


We present an algorithm, HI-MAT (Hierarchy Induction via Models And Trajectories), that discovers MAXQ task hierarchies by applying dynamic Bayesian network models to a successful trajectory from a source reinforcement learning task. HI-MAT discovers subtasks by analyzing the causal and temporal relationships among the actions in the trajectory. Under appropriate assumptions, HI-MAT induces hierarchies that are consistent with the observed trajectory and have compact value-function tables employing safe state abstractions. We demonstrate empirically that HI-MAT constructs compact hierarchies that are comparable to manuallyengineered hierarchies and facilitate significant speedup in learning when transferred to a target task. 1

Year: 2008
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