Safe Policy Optimization with Local Generalized Linear Function Approximations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Akifumi Wachi, Yunyue Wei, Yanan Sui


Safe exploration is a key to applying reinforcement learning (RL) in safety-critical systems. Existing safe exploration methods guaranteed safety under the assumption of regularity, and it has been difficult to apply them to large-scale real problems. We propose a novel algorithm, SPO-LF, that optimizes an agent's policy while learning the relation between a locally available feature obtained by sensors and environmental reward/safety using generalized linear function approximations. We provide theoretical guarantees on its safety and optimality. We experimentally show that our algorithm is 1) more efficient in terms of sample complexity and computational cost and 2) more applicable to large-scale problems than previous safe RL methods with theoretical guarantees, and 3) comparably sample-efficient and safer compared with existing advanced deep RL methods with safety constraints.