Reinforcement Learning - A Technical Introduction

Journal: Journal of Autonomous Intelligence DOI: 10.32629/jai.v2i2.45

Elmar Diederichs

Department of Digital Innovations, Schnellecke, Director for Machine Intelligence and Data Science Elements of Euclid, Founder (mathematical tihnk tank)


Reinforcement learning provides a cognitive science perspective to behavior and sequential decision making provided that RL-algorithms introduce a computational concept of agency to the learning problem. Hence it addresses an abstract class of problems that can be characterized as follows: An algorithm confronted with information from an unknown environment is supposed to find stepwise an optimal way to behave based only on some sparse, delayed or noisy feedback from some environment, that changes according to the algorithm's behavior. Hence reinforcement learning offers an abstraction to the problem of goal-directed learning from interaction. The paper offers an opintionated introduction in the algorithmic advantages and drawbacks of several algorithmic approaches such that one can understand recent developments and open problems in reinforcement learning.


classical reinforcement learning, Markov decision processes, prediction and adaptive control in unknown environments


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Copyright © 2019 Elmar Diederichs

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