Efficient Learning and Planning with Compressed Predictive States

William Hamilton, Mahdi Milani Fard, Joelle Pineau.

Year: 2014, Volume: 15, Issue: 105, Pages: 3575−3619


Predictive state representations (PSRs) offer an expressive framework for modelling partially observable systems. By compactly representing systems as functions of observable quantities, the PSR learning approach avoids using local-minima prone expectation-maximization and instead employs a globally optimal moment-based algorithm. Moreover, since PSRs do not require a predetermined latent state structure as an input, they offer an attractive framework for model-based reinforcement learning when agents must plan without a priori access to a system model. Unfortunately, the expressiveness of PSRs comes with significant computational cost, and this cost is a major factor inhibiting the use of PSRs in applications. In order to alleviate this shortcoming, we introduce the notion of compressed PSRs (CPSRs). The CPSR learning approach combines recent advancements in dimensionality reduction, incremental matrix decomposition, and compressed sensing. We show how this approach provides a principled avenue for learning accurate approximations of PSRs, drastically reducing the computational costs associated with learning while also providing effective regularization. Going further, we propose a planning framework which exploits these learned models. And we show that this approach facilitates model-learning and planning in large complex partially observable domains, a task that is infeasible without the principled use of compression.