Schema Learning: Experience-Based Construction of Predictive Action Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 17 (NIPS 2004)

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Michael Holmes, Charles Jr.


Schema learning is a way to discover probabilistic, constructivist, pre- dictive action models (schemas) from experience. It includes meth- ods for finding and using hidden state to make predictions more accu- rate. We extend the original schema mechanism [1] to handle arbitrary discrete-valued sensors, improve the original learning criteria to handle POMDP domains, and better maintain hidden state by using schema pre- dictions. These extensions show large improvement over the original schema mechanism in several rewardless POMDPs, and achieve very low prediction error in a difficult speech modeling task. Further, we compare extended schema learning to the recently introduced predictive state rep- resentations [2], and find their predictions of next-step action effects to be approximately equal in accuracy. This work lays the foundation for a schema-based system of integrated learning and planning.