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Two Time-scale Off-Policy TD Learning: Non-asymptotic Analysis over Markovian Samples
Tengyu Xu · Shaofeng Zou · Yingbin Liang

Tue Dec 10 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM (PST) @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #206

Gradient-based temporal difference (GTD) algorithms are widely used in off-policy learning scenarios. Among them, the two time-scale TD with gradient correction (TDC) algorithm has been shown to have superior performance. In contrast to previous studies that characterized the non-asymptotic convergence rate of TDC only under identical and independently distributed (i.i.d.) data samples, we provide the first non-asymptotic convergence analysis for two time-scale TDC under a non-i.i.d.\ Markovian sample path and linear function approximation. We show that the two time-scale TDC can converge as fast as O(log t/t^(2/3)) under diminishing stepsize, and can converge exponentially fast under constant stepsize, but at the cost of a non-vanishing error. We further propose a TDC algorithm with blockwisely diminishing stepsize, and show that it asymptotically converges with an arbitrarily small error at a blockwisely linear convergence rate. Our experiments demonstrate that such an algorithm converges as fast as TDC under constant stepsize, and still enjoys comparable accuracy as TDC under diminishing stepsize.

Author Information

Tengyu Xu (The Ohio State University)
Shaofeng Zou (University at Buffalo, the State University of New York)
Yingbin Liang (The Ohio State University)

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