Actor-Critic Method for High Dimensional Static Hamilton--Jacobi--Bellman Partial Differential Equations based on Neural Networks

Journal Article

We propose a novel numerical method for high dimensional Hamilton--Jacobi--Bellman (HJB) type elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs). The HJB PDEs, reformulated as optimal control problems, are tackled by the actor-critic framework inspired by reinforcement learning, based on neural network parametrization of the value and control functions. Within the actor-critic framework, we employ a policy gradient approach to improve the control, while for the value function, we derive a variance reduced least square temporal difference method (VR-LSTD) using stochastic calculus. To numerically discretize the stochastic control problem, we employ an adaptive stepsize scheme to improve the accuracy near the domain boundary. Numerical examples up to $20$ spatial dimensions including the linear quadratic regulators, the stochastic Van der Pol oscillators, and the diffusive Eikonal equations are presented to validate the effectiveness of our proposed method.

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Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhou, M; Han, J; Lu, J