MDPs with Non-Deterministic Policies

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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M. Fard, Joelle Pineau


Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) have been extensively studied and used in the context of planning and decision-making, and many methods exist to find the optimal policy for problems modelled as MDPs. Although finding the optimal policy is sufficient in many domains, in certain applications such as decision support systems where the policy is executed by a human (rather than a machine), finding all possible near-optimal policies might be useful as it provides more flexibility to the person executing the policy. In this paper we introduce the new concept of non-deterministic MDP policies, and address the question of finding near-optimal non-deterministic policies. We propose two solutions to this problem, one based on a Mixed Integer Program and the other one based on a search algorithm. We include experimental results obtained from applying this framework to optimize treatment choices in the context of a medical decision support system.