NIPS Proceedingsβ

Periodic Finite State Controllers for Efficient POMDP and DEC-POMDP Planning

Part of: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24 (NIPS 2011)

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Applications such as robot control and wireless communication require planning under uncertainty. Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) plan policies for single agents under uncertainty and their decentralized versions (DEC-POMDPs) find a policy for multiple agents. The policy in infinite-horizon POMDP and DEC-POMDP problems has been represented as finite state controllers (FSCs). We introduce a novel class of periodic FSCs, composed of layers connected only to the previous and next layer. Our periodic FSC method finds a deterministic finite-horizon policy and converts it to an initial periodic infinite-horizon policy. This policy is optimized by a new infinite-horizon algorithm to yield deterministic periodic policies, and by a new expectation maximization algorithm to yield stochastic periodic policies. Our method yields better results than earlier planning methods and can compute larger solutions than with regular FSCs.