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Experience Replay for Real-Time Reinforcement Learning Control

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3 Author(s)
Adam, S. ; Large Corporates & Merchant Banking Div., ABN AMRO Bank, Amsterdam, Netherlands ; Busoniu, L. ; Babuska, R.

Reinforcement-learning (RL) algorithms can automatically learn optimal control strategies for nonlinear, possibly stochastic systems. A promising approach for RL control is experience replay (ER), which learns quickly from a limited amount of data, by repeatedly presenting these data to an underlying RL algorithm. Despite its benefits, ER RL has been studied only sporadically in the literature, and its applications have largely been confined to simulated systems. Therefore, in this paper, we evaluate ER RL on real-time control experiments that involve a pendulum swing-up problem and the vision-based control of a goalkeeper robot. These real-time experiments are complemented by simulation studies and comparisons with traditional RL. As a preliminary, we develop a general ER framework that can be combined with essentially any incremental RL technique, and instantiate this framework for the approximate Q-learning and SARSA algorithms. The successful real-time learning results that are presented here are highly encouraging for the applicability of ER RL in practice.

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

March 2012

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