Create options for AC agent



opt = rlACAgentOptions creates an rlACAgentOptions object for use as an argument when creating an AC agent using all default settings. You can modify the object properties using dot notation.

opt = rlACAgentOptions(Name,Value) creates an AC agent options object using the specified name-value pairs to override default property values.


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Create an AC agent options object, specifying the discount factor.

opt = rlACAgentOptions('DiscountFactor',0.95)
opt = 
  rlACAgentOptions with properties:

    NumStepsToLookAhead: 1
      EntropyLossWeight: 0
             SampleTime: 1
         DiscountFactor: 0.9500

You can modify options using dot notation. For example, set the agent sample time to 0.5.

opt.SampleTime = 0.5;

To train an agent using the asynchronous advantage actor-critic (A3C) method, you must set the agent and parallel training options appropriately.

When creating the AC agent, set the NumStepsToLookAhead value to be greater than 1. Common values are 64 and 128.

agentOpts = rlACAgentOptions('NumStepsToLookAhead',64);

Use agentOpts when creating your agent.

Configure the training algorithm to use asynchronous parallel training.

trainOpts = rlTrainingOptions('UseParallel',true);
trainOpts.ParallelizationOptions.Mode = "async";

Configure the workers to return gradient data to the host. Also, set the number of steps before the workers send data back to the host to match the number of steps to look ahead.

trainOpts.ParallelizationOptions.DataToSendFromWorkers = "gradients";
trainOpts.ParallelizationOptions.StepsUntilDataIsSent = agentOpts.NumStepsToLookAhead;

Use trainOpts when training your agent.

Input Arguments

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Name-Value Pair Arguments

Specify optional comma-separated pairs of Name,Value arguments. Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name must appear inside quotes. You can specify several name and value pair arguments in any order as Name1,Value1,...,NameN,ValueN.

Example: 'DiscountFactor',0.95

Number of steps to look ahead in model training, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'NumStepsToLookAhead' and a numeric positive integer value. For AC agents, the number of steps to look ahead corresponds to the training episode length.

Entropy loss weight, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'EntropyLossWeight' and a scalar value between 0 and 1, inclusive. A higher loss weight value promotes agent exploration by applying a penalty for being too certain about which action to take. Doing so can help the agent move out of local optima.

The entropy loss function for episode step t is:



  • E is the entropy loss weight.

  • M is the number of possible actions.

  • μk(St) is the probability of taking action Ak when in state St following the current policy.

When gradients are computed during training, an additional gradient component is computed for minimizing this loss function.

Sample time of agent, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'SampleTime' and a numeric value.

Discount factor applied to future rewards during training, specified as the comma-separated pair consisting of 'DiscountFactor' and a positive numeric value less than or equal to 1.

Output Arguments

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AC agent options, returned as an rlACAgentOptions object. The object properties are described in Name-Value Pair Arguments.

See Also


Introduced in R2019a