Value Pursuit Iteration

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

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Amir Farahmand, Doina Precup


Value Pursuit Iteration (VPI) is an approximate value iteration algorithm that finds a close to optimal policy for reinforcement learning and planning problems with large state spaces. VPI has two main features: First, it is a nonparametric algorithm that finds a good sparse approximation of the optimal value function given a dictionary of features. The algorithm is almost insensitive to the number of irrelevant features. Second, after each iteration of VPI, the algorithm adds a set of functions based on the currently learned value function to the dictionary. This increases the representation power of the dictionary in a way that is directly relevant to the goal of having a good approximation of the optimal value function. We theoretically study VPI and provide a finite-sample error upper bound for it.