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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Combining spatial hints with policy reuse in a reinforcement learning agent da Silva, Bruno Norberto


In this dissertation, we study the problem of knowledge reuse by a reinforcement learning agent. We are interested in how an agent can exploit policies that were learned in the past to learn a new task more efficiently in the present. Our approach is to elicit spatial hints from an expert suggesting the world states in which each existing policy should be more relevant to the new task. By using these hints with domain exploration, the agent is able to detect those portions of existing policies that are beneficial to the new task, therefore learning a new policy more efficiently. We call our approach Spatial Hints Policy Reuse (SHPR). Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of our method. Our results encourage further study investigating how much more efficacy can be gained from the elicitation of very simple advice from humans.

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