A Practical Guide to Multi-Objective Reinforcement Learning and Planning

Conor F. Hayes, Roxana Radulescu, Eugenio Bargiacchi, Johan Källström, Matthew Macfarlane, Mathieu Reymond, Timothy Verstraeten, Luisa Zintgraf, Richard Dazeley, Fredrik Heintz, Enda Howley, Athirai A. Irissappane, Patrick Mannion, Ann Nowe, Gabriel De Oliveira Ramos, Marcello Restelli, Peter Vamplew, Diederik M. Roijers

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Abstract

Real-world sequential decision-making tasks are generally complex, requiring trade-offs between multiple, often conflicting, objectives. Despite this, the majority of research in reinforcement learning and decision-theoretic planning either assumes only a single objective, or that multiple objectives can be adequately handled via a simple linear combination. Such approaches may oversimplify the underlying problem and hence produce suboptimal results. This paper serves as a guide to the application of multi-objective methods to difficult problems, and is aimed at researchers who are already familiar with single-objective reinforcement learning and planning methods who wish to adopt a multi-objective perspective on their research, as well as practitioners who encounter multi-objective decision problems in practice. It identifies the factors that may influence the nature of the desired solution, and illustrates by example how these influence the design of multi-objective decision-making systems for complex problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number26
Number of pages59
JournalAutonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022

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