Course References, Links and Random Notes
Probabilistic Reasoning and Reinforcement Learning
ECE 493 Technical Electives - Topic 25
- Notes - https://rateldajer.github.io/ECE493T25S19/
- Slides - see LEARN
- This list of links:
Primary References for Course
Primary References for Probabilistic Reasoning
[Ermon2019] - First half of notes are based on Stanford CS 228 (https://ermongroup.github.io/cs228-notes/) which goes even more into details on PGMs than we will.
[Cam Davidson 2018] - Bayesian Methods for Hackers - Probabilistic Programming textbook as set of python notebooks.
[Koller, Friedman, 2009] Probabilistic Graphical Models : Principles and Techniques
The extensive theoretical book on PGMs.
Primary References for Decision Making Under Uncertainty
[Dimitrakakis2019] - Decision Making Under Uncertainty and Reinforcement Learning
[Ghavamzadeh2016] - Bayesian Reinforcement Learning: A Survey. Ghavamzadeh et al. 2016.
[SuttonBarto2018] - Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction. Book, free pdf of draft available.
Other Useful Resources
Reinforcement Learning Tutorial with Demo on GitHub
This is a thorough collection of slides from a few different texts and courses laid out with the essentials from basic decision making to Deep RL. There is also code examples for some of their own simple domains.
Deep Q Network vs Policy Gradients - An Experiment on VizDoom with Keras
A nice blog post on comparing DQN and Policy Gradient algorithms such A2C.
Alpha Go Documentary
Timepoint: Jump straight to the part of the Alpha Go Documentary where they explain the learning process Alpha Go uses. It also is the start of the first moment where the program does a creative move that humans did not expect.
Analysis of What Alpha Go was “thinking” when it played Sedol Lee
SamIam Bayesian Network GUI Tool
- Java GUI tool for playing with BNs (its old but its good)
- Bayesian Belief Networks Python Package :
Allows creation of Bayesian Belief Networks
and other Graphical Models with pure Python
functions. Where tractable exact inference
- Python library for conjugate exponential family BNs and variational inference only
- Open Markov
- Open GM (C++ library)
Some videos and resources on Bayes Nets, d-seperation, Bayes Ball Algorithm and more:
Likelihood, Loss and Risk
A Good article summarizing how likelihood, loss functions, risk, KL divergence, MLE, MAP are all connected.
Multiarmed Bandit : Solving it via Reinforcement Learning in Python
- Quite a good blog post with all the concepts laid out in simple terms in order https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2018/09/reinforcement-multi-armed-bandit-scratch-python/
- Long tutorial on TS: https://web.stanford.edu/~bvr/pubs/TS_Tutorial.pdf
Markov Decision Processes
Eligibility traces in tabular setting lead to a significant benefit in training time in additional to the Temporal Difference method.
In Deep RL it is very common to use experience replay to reduce overfitting and bias to recent experiences. However, experience replay makes it very hard to leverage eligibility traces which require a sequence of actions to distribute reward backwards.
Value Function Approximation
How to use a shallow, linear approximation for Atari
This post explains a paper showing how to achieve the same performance as the Deep RL DQN method for Atari using carefully constructed linear value function approximation.
Direct Policy Search
- Policy Gradients
Policy Gradient Algorithms
Some of the posts used for lecture on July 26.
- A good post with all the fundamental math for policy gradients.
- Also a good intro post about Policy gradients vs DQN by great ML blogger Andrej Karpathy (this is the one I showed in class with the Pong example):
- The Open-AI page on the PPO algorithm used on their simulator domains of humanoid robots:
- Good description of Actor-Critic approach using Sonic the Hedgehog game as example:
- Blog post about how the original Alpha Go solution worked using Policy Gradient RL and Monte-Carlo Tree Search:
Very clear blog post on describing Actor-Critic Algorithms to improve Policy Gradients
Cutting Edge Algorithms
Going beyond what we covered in class, here are some exciting trends and new advances in RL research in the past few years to find out more about.
Policy Gradient Methods
As I said in class, PG methods are a fast changing area of RL research. This post has a number of the successful algorithms in this area as of a year ago: