Chapter 1. What is reinforcement learning?
- A brief review of machine learning
- Introducing reinforcement learning as a subfield
- The basic framework of reinforcement learning
Computer languages of the future will be more concerned with goals and less with procedures specified by the programmer.
Marvin Minksy, 1970 ACM Turing Lecture
If you’re reading this book, you are probably familiar with how deep neural networks are used for things like image classification or prediction (and if not, just keep reading; we also have a crash course in deep learning in the appendix). Deep reinforcement learning (DRL) is a subfield of machine learning that utilizes deep learning models (i.e., neural networks) in reinforcement learning (RL) tasks (to be defined in section 1.2). In image classification we have a bunch of images that correspond to a set of discrete categories, such as images of different kinds of animals, and we want a machine learning model to interpret an image and classify the kind of animal in the image, as in figure 1.1.