We present a unifying framework for designing and analysing distributional reinforcement learning (DRL) algorithms in terms of recursively estimating statistics of the return distribution. Our key insight is that DRL algorithms can be decomposed as the combination of some statistical estimator and a method for imputing a return distribution consistent with that set of statistics. With this new understanding, we are able to provide improved analyses of existing DRL algorithms as well as construct a new algorithm (EDRL) based upon estimation of the expectiles of the return distribution. We compare EDRL with existing methods on a variety of MDPs to illustrate concrete aspects of our analysis, and develop a deep RL variant of the algorithm, ER-DQN, which we evaluate on the Atari-57 suite of games.
Recently, there is an increasing interest in obtaining the relational structures of the environment in the Reinforcement Learning community. However, the resulting "relations" are not the discrete, logical predicates compatible to the symbolic reasoning such as classical planning or goal recognition. Meanwhile, Latplan (Asai and Fukunaga 2018) bridged the gap between deep-learning perceptual systems and symbolic classical planners. One key component of the system is a Neural Network called State AutoEncoder (SAE), which encodes an image-based input into a propositional representation compatible to classical planning. To get the best of both worlds, we propose First-Order State AutoEncoder, an unsupervised architecture for grounding the first-order logic predicates and facts. Each predicate models a relationship between objects by taking the interpretable arguments and returning a propositional value. In the experiment using 8-Puzzle and a photo-realistic Blocksworld environment, we show that (1) the resulting predicates capture the interpretable relations (e.g. spatial), (2) they help obtaining the compact, abstract model of the environment, and finally, (3) the resulting model is compatible to symbolic classical planning.