Manifold Embeddings for Model-Based Reinforcement Learning under Partial Observability

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Keith Bush, Joelle Pineau


Interesting real-world datasets often exhibit nonlinear, noisy, continuous-valued states that are unexplorable, are poorly described by first principles, and are only partially observable. If partial observability can be overcome, these constraints suggest the use of model-based reinforcement learning. We experiment with manifold embeddings as the reconstructed observable state-space of an off-line, model-based reinforcement learning approach to control. We demonstrate the embedding of a system changes as a result of learning and that the best performing embeddings well-represent the dynamics of both the uncontrolled and adaptively controlled system. We apply this approach in simulation to learn a neurostimulation policy that is more efficient in treating epilepsy than conventional policies. We then demonstrate the learned policy completely suppressing seizures in real-world neurostimulation experiments on actual animal brain slices.