The National Science Foundation Workshop on Reinforcement Learning

  • Sridhar Mahadevan
  • Leslie Pack Kaelbling


Reinforcement learning has become one of the most actively studied learning frameworks in the area of intelligent autonomous agents. This article describes the results of a three-day meeting of leading researchers in this area that was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Because reinforcement learning is an interdisciplinary topic, the workshop brought together researchers from a variety of fields, including machine learning, neural networks, AI, robotics, and operations research. Thirty leading researchers from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan, representing from many different universities, government, and industrial research laboratories participated in the workshop. The goals of the meeting were to (1) understand limitations of current reinforcement-learning systems and define promising directions for further research; (2) clarify the relationships between reinforcement learning and existing work in engineering fields, such as operations research; and (3) identify potential industrial applications of reinforcement learning.
How to Cite
Mahadevan, S., & Kaelbling, L. P. (1996). The National Science Foundation Workshop on Reinforcement Learning. AI Magazine, 17(4), 89.
Workshop Reports