Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Fifth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Proximal Gradient Temporal Difference Learning Algorithms / 4195
Bo Liu, Ji Liu, Mohammad Ghavamzadeh, Sridhar Mahadevan, Marek Petrik

In this paper, we describe proximal gradient temporal difference learning, which provides a principled way for designing and analyzing true stochastic gradient temporal difference learning algorithms. We show how gradient TD (GTD) reinforcement learning methods can be formally derived, not with respect to their original objective functions as previously attempted, but rather with respect to primal-dual saddle-point objective functions. We also conduct a saddle-point error analysis to obtain finite-sample bounds on their performance. Previous analyses of this class of algorithms use stochastic approximation techniques to prove asymptotic convergence, and no finite-sample analysis had been attempted. An accelerated algorithm is also proposed, namely GTD2-MP, which use proximal mirror maps to yield acceleration. The results of our theoretical analysis imply that the GTD family of algorithms are comparable and may indeed be preferred over existing least squares TD methods for off-policy learning, due to their linear complexity. We provide experimental results showing the improved performance of our accelerated gradient TD methods.