Ons between the agent and the model. In many applications, interacting with the actual environment may be very costly (e.g. medical experiments). In such cases, the experiments made during the online learning phase are likely to be much more expensive than those performed during the offline learning phase. Optimal policies in BRL setting are well-researched theoretically but are still computationally intractable [3]. This is why all state-of-the-art BRL algorithms are just approximations, and to increase their accuracy leads to longer computation times. In this paper, we investigate how the way BRL algorithms use the available computation time may impact online performances. To properly compare Bayesian algorithms, we designed a comprehensive BRL benchmarking protocol, following the foundations of [4]. “Comprehensive BRL benchmark” refers to a tool which assesses the performance of BRL algorithms over a large set of problems that are actually drawn according to a prior distribution. In previous papers addressing BRL, authors usually validate their algorithm by testing it on a few test problems, defined by a small set of predefined MDPs. For instance, SBOSS [5] and BFS3 [6] are validated on a fixed number of MDPs. In their validation process, the authors select a few BRL tasks, for which they choose one arbitrary transition function, which defines the corresponding MDP. Then, they define one prior distribution compliant with the transition function. This type of benchmarking is problematic because it is RG7666MedChemExpress RG7666 biaised by the selection of MDPs. For the same prior distribution, the relative performance of each algorithm may vary with respect to this choice. A single algorithm can be the best approach for one MDP, but only the second best one for another. Nevertheless, this approach is still appropriate in specific cases. For example, it may happen when the prior distribution does not encode perfectly the prior knowledge. A task implying human interactions can only be approximated by a MDP and therefore, a prior distribution purchase RG7666 cannot be a perfect encoding of this prior knowledge. It would be more relevant to compare the algorithms with respect to their performance on real human subjects rather than approximated MDPs drawn from the prior distribution. In this paper, we compare BRL algorithms in several different tasks. In each task, the real transition function is defined using a random distribution, instead of being arbitrarily fixed. Each algorithm is thus tested on an infinitely large number of MDPs, for each test case. A similar protocol has also been used in [7] for MDPs with a discrete and infinite state space and an unknown reward function rather than an unknown transition function. To perform our experiments, we developed the BBRL library, whose objective is to also provide other researchers with our benchmarking tool. This paper is organised as follows: Section 2 presents the problem statement. Section 3 formally defines the experimental protocol designed for this paper. Section 4 briefly presents the library. Section 5 shows a detailed application of our protocol, comparing several well-know BRL algorithms on three different benchmarks. Section 6 concludes the study.2 Problem StatementThis section is dedicated to the formalisation of the different tools and concepts discussed in this paper.2.1 Reinforcement LearningLet M = (X, U, f(?, M, pM, 0(?, ) be a given unknown MDP, where X ?fx??; . . . ; x X ?g denotes its finite state space and U ?f.Ons between the agent and the model. In many applications, interacting with the actual environment may be very costly (e.g. medical experiments). In such cases, the experiments made during the online learning phase are likely to be much more expensive than those performed during the offline learning phase. Optimal policies in BRL setting are well-researched theoretically but are still computationally intractable [3]. This is why all state-of-the-art BRL algorithms are just approximations, and to increase their accuracy leads to longer computation times. In this paper, we investigate how the way BRL algorithms use the available computation time may impact online performances. To properly compare Bayesian algorithms, we designed a comprehensive BRL benchmarking protocol, following the foundations of [4]. “Comprehensive BRL benchmark” refers to a tool which assesses the performance of BRL algorithms over a large set of problems that are actually drawn according to a prior distribution. In previous papers addressing BRL, authors usually validate their algorithm by testing it on a few test problems, defined by a small set of predefined MDPs. For instance, SBOSS [5] and BFS3 [6] are validated on a fixed number of MDPs. In their validation process, the authors select a few BRL tasks, for which they choose one arbitrary transition function, which defines the corresponding MDP. Then, they define one prior distribution compliant with the transition function. This type of benchmarking is problematic because it is biaised by the selection of MDPs. For the same prior distribution, the relative performance of each algorithm may vary with respect to this choice. A single algorithm can be the best approach for one MDP, but only the second best one for another. Nevertheless, this approach is still appropriate in specific cases. For example, it may happen when the prior distribution does not encode perfectly the prior knowledge. A task implying human interactions can only be approximated by a MDP and therefore, a prior distribution cannot be a perfect encoding of this prior knowledge. It would be more relevant to compare the algorithms with respect to their performance on real human subjects rather than approximated MDPs drawn from the prior distribution. In this paper, we compare BRL algorithms in several different tasks. In each task, the real transition function is defined using a random distribution, instead of being arbitrarily fixed. Each algorithm is thus tested on an infinitely large number of MDPs, for each test case. A similar protocol has also been used in [7] for MDPs with a discrete and infinite state space and an unknown reward function rather than an unknown transition function. To perform our experiments, we developed the BBRL library, whose objective is to also provide other researchers with our benchmarking tool. This paper is organised as follows: Section 2 presents the problem statement. Section 3 formally defines the experimental protocol designed for this paper. Section 4 briefly presents the library. Section 5 shows a detailed application of our protocol, comparing several well-know BRL algorithms on three different benchmarks. Section 6 concludes the study.2 Problem StatementThis section is dedicated to the formalisation of the different tools and concepts discussed in this paper.2.1 Reinforcement LearningLet M = (X, U, f(?, M, pM, 0(?, ) be a given unknown MDP, where X ?fx??; . . . ; x X ?g denotes its finite state space and U ?f.

## Ons between the agent and the model. In many applications, interacting

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