Solving Concurrent Markov Decision Processes

Mausam and Daniel S. Weld

Typically, Markov decision problems (MDPs) assume a single action is executed per decision epoch, but in the real world one may frequently execute certain actions in parallel. This paper explores concurrent MDPs, MDPs which allow multiple non-conflicting actions to be executed simultaneously, and presents two new algorithms. Our first approach exploits two provably sound pruning rules, and thus guarantees solution optimality. Our second technique is a fast, sampling-based algorithm, which produces close-to-optimal solutions extremely quickly. Experiments show that our approaches outperform the existing algorithms producing up to two orders of magnitude speedup.

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