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Augmented RBMLE-UCB Approach for Adaptive Control of Linear Quadratic Systems

Akshay Mete · Rahul Singh · P. R. Kumar

Hall J (level 1) #727

Keywords: [ adaptive control ] [ LQG systems ] [ Reinforcement Learning ]

Abstract: We consider the problem of controlling an unknown stochastic linear system with quadratic costs -- called the adaptive LQ control problem. We re-examine an approach called ``Reward-Biased Maximum Likelihood Estimate'' (RBMLE) that was proposed more than forty years ago, and which predates the ``Upper Confidence Bound'' (UCB) method, as well as the definition of ``regret'' for bandit problems. It simply added a term favoring parameters with larger rewards to the criterion for parameter estimation. We show how the RBMLE and UCB methods can be reconciled, and thereby propose an Augmented RBMLE-UCB algorithm that combines the penalty of the RBMLE method with the constraints of the UCB method, uniting the two approaches to optimism in the face of uncertainty. We establish that theoretically, this method retains ${\mathcal{O}}(\sqrt{T})$ regret, the best known so far. We further compare the empirical performance of the proposed Augmented RBMLE-UCB and the standard RBMLE (without the augmentation) with UCB, Thompson Sampling, Input Perturbation, Randomized Certainty Equivalence and StabL on many real-world examples including flight control of Boeing 747 and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. We perform extensive simulation studies showing that the Augmented RBMLE consistently outperforms UCB, Thompson Sampling and StabL by a huge margin, while it is marginally better than Input Perturbation and moderately better than Randomized Certainty Equivalence.

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