Markov Decision Processes - Computerphile | Summary and Q&A

October 25, 2022
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Markov Decision Processes - Computerphile


Robots use models and algorithms to make decisions in uncertain environments, such as choosing the best route to a destination.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How is uncertainty incorporated into decision-making models for robots?

Uncertainty is incorporated through the use of Markov decision processes (MDPs), where actions have probabilistic outcomes. This allows the model to reflect the complexity and variability of the real world.

Q: What is a policy in the context of decision-making for robots?

A policy is a lookup table that maps states to actions. It represents the optimal action to take in each state, based on the goal of minimizing expected costs.

Q: Can deterministic models be used effectively in robotics decision-making?

Deterministic models are often too simplistic for real-world robotics applications. They fail to capture the uncertainty and variability that robots face, making them less effective in decision-making.

Q: How can the concept of expected cost be used to optimize decision-making for robots?

Expected cost is used as a measure to optimize decision-making. By minimizing the expected cost, robots can make choices that are likely to result in the most favorable outcomes on average.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Shortest path algorithms are commonly used for decision-making in robotics, where different actions are evaluated based on their costs or durations.

  • Deterministic models are often used, but they fail to capture the uncertainty and complexity of the real world.

  • Markov decision processes (MDPs) are used to model decision problems, where actions have probabilistic outcomes and the goal is to minimize expected costs.

  • Policies, represented as lookup tables, are used to determine the optimal action in each state.

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