Automatic Discovery and Transfer of MAXQ Hierarchies

author: Neville Mehta, Oregon State University
published: Aug. 12, 2008,   recorded: July 2008,   views: 3252


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We present an algorithm, HI-MAT (Hierarchy Induction via Models And Trajectories), that discovers MAXQ task hierarchies by applying dynamic Bayesian network models to a successful trajectory from a source reinforcement learning task. HI-MAT discovers subtasks by analyzing the causal and temporal relationships among the actions in the trajectory. Under appropriate assumptions, HI-MAT induces hierarchies that are consistent with the observed trajectory and have compact value-function tables employing safe state abstractions. We demonstrate empirically that HI-MAT constructs compact hierarchies that are comparable to manually-engineered hierarchies and facilitate significant speedup in learning when transferred to a target task.

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