Information-based learning by agents in unbounded state spaces

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Shariq A. Mobin, James A. Arnemann, Fritz Sommer


The idea that animals might use information-driven planning to explore an unknown environment and build an internal model of it has been proposed for quite some time. Recent work has demonstrated that agents using this principle can efficiently learn models of probabilistic environments with discrete, bounded state spaces. However, animals and robots are commonly confronted with unbounded environments. To address this more challenging situation, we study information-based learning strategies of agents in unbounded state spaces using non-parametric Bayesian models. Specifically, we demonstrate that the Chinese Restaurant Process (CRP) model is able to solve this problem and that an Empirical Bayes version is able to efficiently explore bounded and unbounded worlds by relying on little prior information.