We consider partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) with a set of target states and an integer cost associated with every transition. The optimization objective we study asks to minimize the expected total cost of reaching a state in the target set, while ensuring that the target set is reached almost surely (with probability 1). We show that for integer costs approximating the optimal cost is undecidable. For positive costs, our results are as follows: (i) we establish matching lower and upper bounds for the optimal cost, both double exponential in the POMDP state space size; (ii) we show that the problem of approximating the optimal cost is decidable and present approximation algorithms developing on the existing algorithms for POMDPs with finite-horizon objectives. While the worst-case running time of our algorithm is double exponential, we also present efficient stopping criteria for the algorithm and show experimentally that it performs well in many examples of interest.
We thank Blai Bonet for helping us with RTDP-Bel. The research was partly supported by Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Grant No P23499-N23, FWF NFN Grant No S11407-N23 (RiSE), ERC Start grant (279307: Graph Games), and Microsoft faculty fellows award.
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Chatterjee K, Chmelik M, Gupta R, Kanodia A. Optimal cost almost-sure reachability in POMDPs. Artificial Intelligence. 2016;234:26-48. doi:10.1016/j.artint.2016.01.007
Chatterjee, K., Chmelik, M., Gupta, R., & Kanodia, A. (2016). Optimal cost almost-sure reachability in POMDPs. Artificial Intelligence, 234, 26–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artint.2016.01.007
Chatterjee, Krishnendu, Martin Chmelik, Raghav Gupta, and Ayush Kanodia. “Optimal Cost Almost-Sure Reachability in POMDPs.” Artificial Intelligence 234 (2016): 26–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artint.2016.01.007.
K. Chatterjee, M. Chmelik, R. Gupta, and A. Kanodia, “Optimal cost almost-sure reachability in POMDPs,” Artificial Intelligence, vol. 234, pp. 26–48, 2016.
Chatterjee K, Chmelik M, Gupta R, Kanodia A. 2016. Optimal cost almost-sure reachability in POMDPs. Artificial Intelligence. 234, 26–48.
Chatterjee, Krishnendu, et al. “Optimal Cost Almost-Sure Reachability in POMDPs.” Artificial Intelligence, vol. 234, Elsevier, 2016, pp. 26–48, doi:10.1016/j.artint.2016.01.007.
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