Clustered Reinforcement Learning

Xiao Ma, Shen-Yi Zhao, Wu-Jun Li

Exploration strategy design is one of the challenging problems in reinforcement learning~(RL), especially when the environment contains a large state space or sparse rewards. During exploration, the agent tries to discover novel areas or high reward~(quality) areas. In most existing methods, the novelty and quality in the neighboring area of the current state are not well utilized to guide the exploration of the agent. To tackle this problem, we propose a novel RL framework, called \underline{c}lustered \underline{r}einforcement \underline{l}earning~(CRL), for efficient exploration in RL. CRL adopts clustering to divide the collected states into several clusters, based on which a bonus reward reflecting both novelty and quality in the neighboring area~(cluster) of the current state is given to the agent. Experiments on a continuous control task and several \emph{Atari 2600} games show that CRL can outperform other state-of-the-art methods to achieve the best performance in most cases.

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