Real Time Targeted Exploration in Large Domains (2010)
A developing agent needs to explore to learn about the world and learn good behaviors. In many real world tasks, this exploration can take far too long, and the agent must make decisions about which states to explore, and which states not to explore. Bayesian methods attempt to address this problem, but take too much computation time to run in reasonably sized domains. In this paper, we present TEXPLORE, the first algorithm to perform targeted exploration in real time in large domains. The algorithm learns multiple possible models of the domain that generalize action effects across states. We experiment with possible ways of adding intrinsic motivation to the agent to drive exploration. TEXPLORE is fully implemented and tested in a novel domain called Fuel World that is designed to reflect the type of targeted exploration needed in the real world. We show that our algorithm significantly outperforms representative examples of both model-free and model-based RL algorithms from the literature and is able to quickly learn to perform well in a large world in real-time.
In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL 2010), 2010 (Eds.), August 2010.

Todd Hester Postdoctoral Alumni todd [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Stone Faculty pstone [at] cs utexas edu