Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)
Jianzhun Du, Joseph Futoma, Finale Doshi-Velez
We present two elegant solutions for modeling continuous-time dynamics, in a novel model-based reinforcement learning (RL) framework for semi-Markov decision processes (SMDPs), using neural ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Our models accurately characterize continuous-time dynamics and enable us to develop high-performing policies using a small amount of data. We also develop a model-based approach for optimizing time schedules to reduce interaction rates with the environment while maintaining the near-optimal performance, which is not possible for model-free methods. We experimentally demonstrate the efficacy of our methods across various continuous-time domains.