Regular Article - Flowing Matter
Deep reinforcement learning for the olfactory search POMDP: a quantitative benchmark
Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, IRPHE, Marseille, France
2 Department of Physics and INFN, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
Accepted: 5 March 2023
Published online: 20 March 2023
The olfactory search POMDP (partially observable Markov decision process) is a sequential decision-making problem designed to mimic the task faced by insects searching for a source of odor in turbulence, and its solutions have applications to sniffer robots. As exact solutions are out of reach, the challenge consists in finding the best possible approximate solutions while keeping the computational cost reasonable. We provide a quantitative benchmarking of a solver based on deep reinforcement learning against traditional POMDP approximate solvers. We show that deep reinforcement learning is a competitive alternative to standard methods, in particular to generate lightweight policies suitable for robots.
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