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Workshop: Deep Reinforcement Learning Workshop

CASA: Bridging the Gap between Policy Improvement and Policy Evaluation with Conflict Averse Policy Iteration

Changnan Xiao · Haosen Shi · Jiajun Fan · Shihong Deng · Haiyan Yin


We study the problem of model-free reinforcement learning, which is often solved following the principle of Generalized Policy Iteration (GPI). While GPI is typically an interplay between policy evaluation and policy improvement, most conventional model-free methods with function approximation assume the independence of GPI steps, despite of the inherent connections between them. In this paper, we present a method that attempts to eliminate the inconsistency between policy evaluation step and policy improvement step, leading to a conflict averse GPI solution with gradient-based functional approximation. Our method is capital to balancing exploitation and exploration between policy-based and value-based methods and is applicable to existed policy-based and value-based methods. We conduct extensive experiments to study theoretical properties of our method and demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on Atari 200M benchmark.

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