Embedded Incremental Feature Selection for Reinforcement Learning
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB ROME NY INFORMATION DIRECTORATE
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Classical reinforcement learning techniques become impractical in domains with large complex state spaces. The size of a domains state space is dominated by the number of features used to describe the state. Fortunately, in many real-world environments learning an effective policy does not usually require all the provided features. In this paper we present a feature selection algorithm for reinforcement learning called Incremental Feature Selection Embedded in NEAT IFSE-NEAT that incorporates sequential forward search into neuroevolutionary algorithm NEAT. We provide an empirical analysis on a realistic simulated domain with many irrelevant and relevant features. Our results demonstrate that IFSE-NEAT selects smaller and more effective feature sets than alternative approaches, NEAT and FS-NEAT, and superior performance characteristics as the number of available features increases.