Learning Partially Observable Models Using Temporally Abstract Decision Trees

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

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Erik Talvitie


This paper introduces timeline trees, which are partial models of partially observable environments. Timeline trees are given some specific predictions to make and learn a decision tree over history. The main idea of timeline trees is to use temporally abstract features to identify and split on features of key events, spread arbitrarily far apart in the past (whereas previous decision-tree-based methods have been limited to a finite suffix of history). Experiments demonstrate that timeline trees can learn to make high quality predictions in complex, partially observable environments with high-dimensional observations (e.g. an arcade game).