Self-Consistent Models and Values

Abstract

Learned models of the environment provide reinforcement learning (RL) agents with flexible ways of making predictions about the environment. Models enable \emph{planning}, i.e. using more computation to improve value functions or policies, without requiring additional environment interactions. In this work, we investigate a way of augmenting model-based RL, by additionally encouraging a learned model and value function to be jointly \emph{self-consistent}. This lies in contrast to classic planning methods like Dyna, which only update the value function to be consistent with the model. We propose a number of possible self-consistency updates, study them empirically in both the tabular and function approximation settings, and find that with appropriate choices self-consistency can be useful both for policy evaluation and control.

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