The Effects of Memory Replay in Reinforcement Learning.
Experience replay is a key technique behind many recent advances in deep reinforcement learning. Allowing the agent to learn from earlier memories can speed up learning and break undesirable temporal correlations. Despite its wide-spread application, very little is understood about the properties of experience replay. How does the amount of memory kept affect learning dynamics? Does it help to prioritize certain experiences? In this paper, we address these questions by formulating a dynamical systems ODE model of Q-learning with experience replay. We derive analytic solutions of the ODE for a simple setting. We show that even in this very simple setting, the amount of memory kept can substantially affect the agent's performance. Too much or too little memory both slow down learning. Moreover, we characterize regimes where prioritized replay harms the agent's learning. We show that our analytic solutions have excellent agreement with experiments. Finally, we propose a simple algorithm for adaptively changing the memory buffer size which achieves consistently good empirical performance.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.06574
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.