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Primary Submission Category: Offline policy evaluation

Future-dependent value-based off-policy evaluation in pomdps

Authors: Masatoshi Uehara, Masatoshi Uehara, Andrew Bannet, Nan Jiang, Wen Sun, Nathan Kallus, Victor Chernozhukov,

Presenting Author: Masatoshi Uehara*

We study off-policy evaluation (OPE) for partially observable MDPs (POMDPs) with general function approximation. Existing methods such as sequential importance sampling estimators and fitted-Q evaluation suffer from the curse of horizon in POMDPs. To circumvent this problem, we develop a novel model-free OPE method by introducing future-dependent value functions that take future proxies as inputs. Future-dependent value functions play similar roles as classical value functions in fully-observable MDPs. We derive a new Bellman equation for future-dependent value functions as conditional moment equations that use history proxies as instrumental variables. We further propose a minimax learning method to learn future-dependent value functions using the new Bellman equation. We obtain the PAC result, which implies our OPE estimator is consistent as long as futures and histories contain sufficient information about latent states, and the Bellman completeness. Finally, we extend our methods to learning of dynamics and establish the connection between our approach and the well-known spectral learning methods in POMDPs.