BooVI: Provably Efficient Bootstrapped Value Iteration

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Authors

Boyi Liu, Qi Cai, Zhuoran Yang, Zhaoran Wang

Abstract

Despite the tremendous success of reinforcement learning (RL) with function approximation, efficient exploration remains a significant challenge, both practically and theoretically. In particular, existing theoretically grounded RL algorithms based on upper confidence bounds (UCBs), such as optimistic least-squares value iteration (LSVI), are often incompatible with practically powerful function approximators, such as neural networks. In this paper, we develop a variant of \underline{boo}tstrapped LS\underline{VI}, namely BooVI, which bridges such a gap between practice and theory. Practically, BooVI drives exploration through (re)sampling, making it compatible with general function approximators. Theoretically, BooVI inherits the worst-case $\tilde{O}(\sqrt{d^3 H^3 T})$-regret of optimistic LSVI in the episodic linear setting. Here $d$ is the feature dimension, $H$ is the episode horizon, and $T$ is the total number of steps.