Publications Details

Publication Details

An evolution strategy with progressive episode lengths for playing games

authored by
Lior Fuks, Noor Awad, Frank Hutter, Marius Lindauer

Recently, Evolution Strategies (ES) have been successfully applied to solve problems commonly addressed by reinforcement learning (RL). Due to the simplicity of ES approaches, their runtime is often dominated by the RL-task at hand (e.g., playing a game). In this work, we introduce Progressive Episode Lengths (PEL) as a new technique and incorporate it with ES. The main objective is to allow the agent to play short and easy tasks with limited lengths, and then use the gained knowledge to further solve long and hard tasks with progressive lengths. Hence allowing the agent to perform many function evaluations and find a good solution for short time horizons before adapting the strategy to tackle larger time horizons. We evaluated PEL on a subset of Atari games from OpenAI Gym, showing that it can substantially improve the optimization speed, stability and final score of canonical ES. Specifically, we show average improvements of 80% (32%) after 2 hours (10 hours) compared to canonical ES.

External Organisation(s)
University of Freiburg
Conference contribution
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Artificial Intelligence
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