Prior-dependent analysis of posterior sampling reinforcement learning with function approximation


This work advances randomized exploration in reinforcement learning (RL) with function approximation modeled by linear mixture MDPs. We establish the first prior-dependent Bayesian regret bound for RL with function approximation; and refine the Bayesian regret analysis for posterior sampling reinforcement learning (PSRL), presenting an upper bound of $\tilde{\mathcal{O}}(d\sqrt{H^3 T \log T})$, where $d$ represents the dimensionality of the transition kernel, $H$ the planning horizon, and $T$ the total number of interactions. This signifies a methodological enhancement by optimizing the $\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{\log T})$ factor over the previous benchmark (Osband and Van Roy, 2014) specified to linear mixture MDPs. Our approach, leveraging a value-targeted model learning perspective, introduces a decoupling argument and a variance reduction technique, moving beyond traditional analyses reliant on confidence sets and concentration inequalities to formalize Bayesian regret bounds more effectively.

International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS)