Learning Domain-Specific Control Knowledge from Random Walks

Alan Fern, SungWook Yoon, and Robert Givan

Wedescribe and evaluate a system for learning domainspecific control knowledge. In particular, given a planning domain, the goal is to output a control policy that performs well on "long random walk" problem distributions. The system is based on viewing planning domains as very large Markov decision processes and then applying a recent variant of approximate policy iteration that is bootstrapped with a new technique based on random walks. We evaluate the system on the AIPS-2000 planning domains (among others) and show that often the learned policies perform well on problems drawn from the long-random-walk distribution. In addition, we show that these policies often perform well on the original problem distributions from the domains involved. Our evaluation also uncovers limitations of our current system that point to future challenges.

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