Koopman-Assisted Reinforcement Learning

Preston Rozwood, Edward Mehrez, Ludger Paehler, Wen Sun, Steven L. Brunton
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI), Machine Learning (cs.LG), Dynamical Systems (math.DS), Optimization and Control (math.OC)
2024-03-04 00:00:00
The Bellman equation and its continuous form, the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equation, are ubiquitous in reinforcement learning (RL) and control theory. However, these equations quickly become intractable for systems with high-dimensional states and nonlinearity. This paper explores the connection between the data-driven Koopman operator and Markov Decision Processes (MDPs), resulting in the development of two new RL algorithms to address these limitations. We leverage Koopman operator techniques to lift a nonlinear system into new coordinates where the dynamics become approximately linear, and where HJB-based methods are more tractable. In particular, the Koopman operator is able to capture the expectation of the time evolution of the value function of a given system via linear dynamics in the lifted coordinates. By parameterizing the Koopman operator with the control actions, we construct a ``Koopman tensor'' that facilitates the estimation of the optimal value function. Then, a transformation of Bellman's framework in terms of the Koopman tensor enables us to reformulate two max-entropy RL algorithms: soft value iteration and soft actor-critic (SAC). This highly flexible framework can be used for deterministic or stochastic systems as well as for discrete or continuous-time dynamics. Finally, we show that these Koopman Assisted Reinforcement Learning (KARL) algorithms attain state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance with respect to traditional neural network-based SAC and linear quadratic regulator (LQR) baselines on four controlled dynamical systems: a linear state-space system, the Lorenz system, fluid flow past a cylinder, and a double-well potential with non-isotropic stochastic forcing.
PDF: Koopman-Assisted Reinforcement Learning.pdf
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