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Cascaded Gaps: Towards Logarithmic Regret for Risk-Sensitive Reinforcement Learning

Yingjie Fei · Ruitu Xu

Hall E #825

Keywords: [ RL: Risk Sensitive ] [ RL: Planning ] [ Reinforcement Learning ]


In this paper, we study gap-dependent regret guarantees for risk-sensitive reinforcement learning based on the entropic risk measure. We propose a novel definition of sub-optimality gaps, which we call cascaded gaps, and we discuss their key components that adapt to underlying structures of the problem. Based on the cascaded gaps, we derive non-asymptotic and logarithmic regret bounds for two model-free algorithms under episodic Markov decision processes. We show that, in appropriate settings, these bounds feature exponential improvement over existing ones that are independent of gaps. We also prove gap-dependent lower bounds, which certify the near optimality of the upper bounds.

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