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Planning in Factored Action Spaces with Symbolic Dynamic Programming

TitlePlanning in Factored Action Spaces with Symbolic Dynamic Programming
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsRaghavan, A., S. Joshi, A. Fern, P. Tadepalli, and R. Khardon
Conference NameTwenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2012)
Date Published07/2012
Conference LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

We consider symbolic dynamic programming (SDP) for solving Markov Decision Processes (MDP) with factored state and action spaces, where both states and actions are described by sets of discrete variables. Prior work on SDP has considered only the case of factored states and ignored structure in the action space, causing them to scale poorly in terms of the number of action variables. Our main contribution is to present the first SDP-based planning algorithm for leveraging both state and action space structure in order to compute compactly represented value functions and policies. Since our new algorithm can potentially require more space than when action structure is ignored, our second contribution is to describe an approach for smoothly trading-off space versus time via recursive conditioning. Finally, our third contribution is to introduce a novel SDP approximation that often significantly reduces planning time with little loss in quality by exploiting action structure in weakly coupled MDPs. We present empirical results in three domains with factored action spaces that show that our algorithms scale much better with the number of action variables as compared to state-of-the-art SDP algorithms.