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GMAC: A Distributional Perspective on Actor-Critic Framework

Daniel Nam · Younghoon Kim · Chan Youn Park


Keywords: [ Reinforcement Learning and Planning ] [ Deep RL ]


In this paper, we devise a distributional framework on actor-critic as a solution to distributional instability, action type restriction, and conflation between samples and statistics. We propose a new method that minimizes the Cramér distance with the multi-step Bellman target distribution generated from a novel Sample-Replacement algorithm denoted SR(\lambda), which learns the correct value distribution under multiple Bellman operations. Parameterizing a value distribution with Gaussian Mixture Model further improves the efficiency and the performance of the method, which we name GMAC. We empirically show that GMAC captures the correct representation of value distributions and improves the performance of a conventional actor-critic method with low computational cost, in both discrete and continuous action spaces using Arcade Learning Environment (ALE) and PyBullet environment.

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