A Max-Min Entropy Framework for Reinforcement Learning

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

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Seungyul Han, Youngchul Sung


In this paper, we propose a max-min entropy framework for reinforcement learning (RL) to overcome the limitation of the soft actor-critic (SAC) algorithm implementing the maximum entropy RL in model-free sample-based learning. Whereas the maximum entropy RL guides learning for policies to reach states with high entropy in the future, the proposed max-min entropy framework aims to learn to visit states with low entropy and maximize the entropy of these low-entropy states to promote better exploration. For general Markov decision processes (MDPs), an efficient algorithm is constructed under the proposed max-min entropy framework based on disentanglement of exploration and exploitation. Numerical results show that the proposed algorithm yields drastic performance improvement over the current state-of-the-art RL algorithms.