Reinforcement Learning in Factored MDPs: Oracle-Efficient Algorithms and Tighter Regret Bounds for the Non-Episodic Setting

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Ziping Xu, Ambuj Tewari


We study reinforcement learning in non-episodic factored Markov decision processes (FMDPs). We propose two near-optimal and oracle-efficient algorithms for FMDPs. Assuming oracle access to an FMDP planner, they enjoy a Bayesian and a frequentist regret bound respectively, both of which reduce to the near-optimal bound $O(DS\sqrt{AT})$ for standard non-factored MDPs. We propose a tighter connectivity measure, factored span, for FMDPs and prove a lower bound that depends on the factored span rather than the diameter $D$. In order to decrease the gap between lower and upper bounds, we propose an adaptation of the REGAL.C algorithm whose regret bound depends on the factored span. Our oracle-efficient algorithms outperform previously proposed near-optimal algorithms on computer network administration simulations.