Learning with Deictic Representation

Unknown author (2002-04-10)

Most reinforcement learning methods operate on propositional representations of the world state. Such representations are often intractably large and generalize poorly. Using a deictic representation is believed to be a viable alternative: they promise generalization while allowing the use of existing reinforcement-learning methods. Yet, there are few experiments on learning with deictic representations reported in the literature. In this paper we explore the effectiveness of two forms of deictic representation and a naive propositional representation in a simple blocks-world domain. We find, empirically, that the deictic representations actually worsen performance. We conclude with a discussion of possible causes of these results and strategies for more effective learning in domains with objects.