Google Research

Manifold Regularization for Kernelized LSTD

1st Annual Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL 2017) (to appear)


Policy evaluation or value function approximation is a key procedure in reinforcement learning (RL). It is a necessary component of policy iteration and can be used for variance reduction in policy gradient methods. Therefore, its quality has a significant impact on most RL algorithms. Motivated by manifold regularized learning, we propose a novel kernelized policy evaluation method that takes advantage of the intrinsic geometry of the state space learned from data, in order to achieve better sample efficiency and higher accuracy in action-state value function approximation. Applying the proposed method in the Least-Squares Policy Iteration (LSPI) framework, we observe superior performance compared to widely used parametric basis functions on two standard benchmarks in terms of policy quality.

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