University of Technology Sydney

43008 Reinforcement Learning

6cp; 3.5 hpw, standard face-to-face
Requisite(s): (31250 Introduction to Data Analytics OR 32130 Fundamentals of Data Analytics) AND (48024 Programming 2 OR 32555 Fundamentals of Software Development) AND (41040 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence OR 31005 Machine Learning OR 42172 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)
Recommended studies:

Data Analytics, basics of statistics and probability, basics of machine learning, Python programming


The subject introduces reinforcement learning, or in simple terms, how machines learn by interacting with their environment, something human beings do from birth. Reinforcement learning is a subfield of machine learning but is also a general-purpose formalism for automated decision-making and AI. It deals with building programs that learn how to predict and act in a stochastic environment, based on past-experience, or interaction with the environment. Applications of reinforcement learning range from classical control problems, such as power-plant optimisation or dynamical system control, to game playing, inventory control, and many other fields. In this subject, students study the theoretical aspects and practical applications of reinforcement learning. State-of-the art software tools are discussed and used for the implementation of RL algorithms and training intelligent agents. Students learn how to formalise problems as Markov Decision Processes and learn classic and modern algorithms in reinforcement learning. Students learn to implement, train, and test their own RL agent. After the completion of the subject, students will understand value functions, basic exploration methods, and the comparison between exploration and exploitation methods. Finally, students explore how to deploy trained agents and build an AI system that solves a real-world problem in the final project.

Detailed subject description.

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