Keywords: [ Reinforcement Learning ] [ Follow-the-Perturbed-Leader ] [ Adversarial Markov Decision Process ] [ Online Learning ]
We consider regret minimization for Adversarial Markov Decision Processes (AMDPs), where the loss functions are changing over time and adversarially chosen, and the learner only observes the losses for the visited state-action pairs (i.e., bandit feedback). While there has been a surge of studies on this problem using Online-Mirror-Descent (OMD) methods, very little is known about the Follow-the-Perturbed-Leader (FTPL) methods, which are usually computationally more efficient and also easier to implement since it only requires solving an offline planning problem. Motivated by this, we take a closer look at FTPL for learning AMDPs, starting from the standard episodic finite-horizon setting. We find some unique and intriguing difficulties in the analysis and propose a workaround to eventually show that FTPL is also able to achieve near-optimal regret bounds in this case. More importantly, we then find two significant applications: First, the analysis of FTPL turns out to be readily generalizable to delayed bandit feedback with order-optimal regret, while OMD methods exhibit extra difficulties (Jin et al., 2022). Second, using FTPL, we also develop the first no-regret algorithm for learning communicating AMDPs in the infinite-horizon setting with bandit feedback and stochastic transitions. Our algorithm is efficient assuming access to an offline planning oracle, while even for the easier full-information setting, the only existing algorithm (Chandrasekaran and Tewari, 2021) is computationally inefficient.