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Title: Autonomous learning of domain models from probability distribution clusters
Author: Słowiński, Witold
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 6087
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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Nontrivial domains can be difficult to understand and the task of encoding a model of such a domain can be difficult for a human expert, which is one of the fundamental problems of knowledge acquisition. Model learning provides a way to address this problem by allowing a predictive model of the domain's dynamics to be learnt algorithmically, without human supervision. Such models can provide insight about the domain to a human or aid in automated planning or reinforcement learning. This dissertation addresses the problem of how to learn a model of a continuous, dynamic domain, from sensory observations, through the discretisation of its continuous state space. The learning process is unsupervised in that there are no predefined goals, and it assumes no prior knowledge of the environment. Its outcome is a model consisting of a set of predictive cause-and-effect rules which describe changes in related variables over brief periods of time. We present a novel method for learning such a model, which is centred around the idea of discretising the state space by identifying clusters of uniform density in the probability density function of variables, which correspond to meaningful features of the state space. We show that using this method it is possible to learn models exhibiting predictive power. Secondly, we show that applying this discretisation process to two-dimensional vector variables in addition to scalar variables yields a better model than only applying it to scalar variables and we describe novel algorithms and data structures for discretising one- and two-dimensional spaces from observations. Finally, we demonstrate that this method can be useful for planning or decision making in some domains where the state space exhibits stable regions of high probability and transitional regions of lesser probability. We provide evidence for these claims by evaluating the model learning algorithm in two dynamic, continuous domains involving simulated physics: the OpenArena computer game and a two-dimensional simulation of a bouncing ball falling onto uneven terrain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Predictive control ; Distribution (Probability theory)