Inverse Reinforcement Learning in Partially Observable Environments

Jaedeug Choi, Kee-Eung Kim; 12(Mar):691−730, 2011.


Inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) is the problem of recovering the underlying reward function from the behavior of an expert. Most of the existing IRL algorithms assume that the environment is modeled as a Markov decision process (MDP), although it is desirable to handle partially observable settings in order to handle more realistic scenarios. In this paper, we present IRL algorithms for partially observable environments that can be modeled as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP). We deal with two cases according to the representation of the given expert's behavior, namely the case in which the expert's policy is explicitly given, and the case in which the expert's trajectories are available instead. The IRL in POMDPs poses a greater challenge than in MDPs since it is not only ill-posed due to the nature of IRL, but also computationally intractable due to the hardness in solving POMDPs. To overcome these obstacles, we present algorithms that exploit some of the classical results from the POMDP literature. Experimental results on several benchmark POMDP domains show that our work is useful for partially observable settings.


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