Understanding Algorithms for Reinforcement Learning

by Janani Ravi

Reinforcement learning is a type of machine learning which allows decision makers to operate in an unknown environment. In the world of self-driving cars and exploring robots, RL is an important field of study for any student of machine learning.

What you'll learn

Traditional machine learning algorithms are used for predictions and classification. Reinforcement learning is about training agents to take decisions to maximize cumulative rewards. In this course, Understanding Algorithms for Reinforcement Learning, you'll learn basic principles of reinforcement learning algorithms, RL taxonomy, and specific policy search techniques such as Q-learning and SARSA. First, you'll discover the objective of reinforcement learning; to find an optimal policy which allows agents to make the right decisions to maximize long-term rewards. You'll study how to model the environment so that RL algorithms are computationally tractable. Next, you'll explore dynamic programming, an important technique used to cache intermediate results which simplify the computation of complex problems. You'll understand and implement policy search techniques such as temporal difference learning (Q-learning) and SARSA which help converge on to an optimal policy for your RL algorithm. Finally, you'll build reinforcement learning platforms which allow study, prototyping, and development of policies, as well as work with both Q-learning and SARSA techniques on OpenAI Gym. By the end of this course, you should have a solid understanding of reinforcement learning techniques, Q-learning and SARSA and be able to implement basic RL algorithms.

About the author

Janani has a Masters degree from Stanford and worked for 7+ years at Google. She was one of the original engineers on Google Docs and holds 4 patents for its real-time collaborative editing framework. After spending years working in tech in the Bay Area, New York, and Singapore at companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Flipkart, Janani finally decided to combine her love for technology with her passion for teaching. She is now the co-founder of Loonycorn, a content studio focused on providin... more

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