Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)

*Aurko Roy, Huan Xu, Sebastian Pokutta*

We study reinforcement learning under model misspecification, where we do not have access to the true environment but only to a reasonably close approximation to it. We address this problem by extending the framework of robust MDPs to the model-free Reinforcement Learning setting, where we do not have access to the model parameters, but can only sample states from it. We define robust versions of Q-learning, Sarsa, and TD-learning and prove convergence to an approximately optimal robust policy and approximate value function respectively. We scale up the robust algorithms to large MDPs via function approximation and prove convergence under two different settings. We prove convergence of robust approximate policy iteration and robust approximate value iteration for linear architectures (under mild assumptions). We also define a robust loss function, the mean squared robust projected Bellman error and give stochastic gradient descent algorithms that are guaranteed to converge to a local minimum.

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