Multiple model-based reinforcement learning

Neural Comput. 2002 Jun;14(6):1347-69. doi: 10.1162/089976602753712972.


We propose a modular reinforcement learning architecture for nonlinear, nonstationary control tasks, which we call multiple model-based reinforcement learning (MMRL). The basic idea is to decompose a complex task into multiple domains in space and time based on the predictability of the environmental dynamics. The system is composed of multiple modules, each of which consists of a state prediction model and a reinforcement learning controller. The "responsibility signal," which is given by the softmax function of the prediction errors, is used to weight the outputs of multiple modules, as well as to gate the learning of the prediction models and the reinforcement learning controllers. We formulate MMRL for both discrete-time, finite-state case and continuous-time, continuous-state case. The performance of MMRL was demonstrated for discrete case in a nonstationary hunting task in a grid world and for continuous case in a nonlinear, nonstationary control task of swinging up a pendulum with variable physical parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Mental Processes*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*