Reinforcement Learning



Time and place

  • Do 8:30-10:00, Room Zoom-Meeting (exclude vac) .ics


Reinforcement Learning (RL) is an area of Machine Learning that has recently made large advances and has been publicly visible by reaching and surpassing human skill levels in games like Go and Starcraft. These successes show that RL has the potential to transform many areas of research and industry by automatizing the development of processes that once needed to be engineered explicitly. In contrast to other machine learning paradigms, which require the presence of (labeled or unlabeled) data, RL considers an agent that takes actions in an environment and learns from resulting feedback. The agent tries to maximize a reward signal that it receives for desirable outcomes, while at the same time trying to explore the world in which it operates to find yet unknown, potentially more rewarding action sequences–a dilemma known as the exploration-exploitation tradeoff. Recent advances in machine learning based on deep learning have made RL methods particularly powerful since they allow for agents with particularly well performing models of the world. The lecture will start with introductory lectures to RL where we cover the foundations of RL (i.e., Markov decision processes and dynamic programming techniques) before we go to model-free prediction and control algorithms such as TD-learning, SARSA and Q-learning. We will also get the general idea behind value function approximation techniques such as Deep Q-Networks (DQN) and study advanced policy-gradient and actor-critic methods including TRPO and PPO. We will end with focus sessions on advanced topics such as model-based RL, offline RL, explainable RL, and exploration-exploitation.

Additional information

Expected participants: 50