AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Symbolic Dynamic Programming for Continuous State and Action MDPs
Zahra Zamani, Scott Sanner, Cheng Fang

Last modified: 2012-07-14


Many real-world decision-theoretic planning problemsare naturally modeled using both continuous state andaction (CSA) spaces, yet little work has provided ex-act solutions for the case of continuous actions. Inthis work, we propose a symbolic dynamic program-ming (SDP) solution to obtain the optimal closed-formvalue function and policy for CSA-MDPs with mul-tivariate continuous state and actions, discrete noise,piecewise linear dynamics, and piecewise linear (or re-stricted piecewise quadratic) reward. Our key contribu-tion over previous SDP work is to show how the contin-uous action maximization step in the dynamic program-ming backup can be evaluated optimally and symboli-cally — a task which amounts to symbolic constrainedoptimization subject to unknown state parameters; wefurther integrate this technique to work with an efficientand compact data structure for SDP — the extendedalgebraic decision diagram (XADD). We demonstrateempirical results on a didactic nonlinear planning exam-ple and two domains from operations research to showthe first automated exact solution to these problems.


MDP; Symbolic Dynamic Programming; Continuous state-action;Machine Learning; AI

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