Expert Q-learning: Deep Reinforcement Learning with Coarse State Values from Offline Expert Examples


  • Li Meng University of Oslo
  • Anis Yazidi Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Morten Goodwin University of Agder
  • Paal Engelstad University of Oslo



Reinforcement Learning, Imitation Learning, Semi-supervised Learning, Deep Learning


In this article, we propose a novel algorithm for deep reinforcement learning named Expert Q-learning. Expert Q-learning is inspired by Dueling Q-learning and aims to incorporate semi-supervised learning into reinforcement learning through splitting Q-values into state values and action advantages. We require that an offline expert assesses the value of a state in a coarse manner using three discrete values. An expert network is designed in addition to the Q-network, which updates each time following the regular offline minibatch update whenever the expert example buffer is not empty. Using the board game Othello, we compare our algorithm with the baseline Q-learning algorithm, which is a combination of Double Q-learning and Dueling Q-learning. Our results show that Expert Q-learning is indeed useful and more resistant to the overestimation bias. The baseline Q-learning algorithm exhibits unstable and suboptimal behavior in non-deterministic settings, whereas Expert Q-learning demonstrates more robust performance with higher scores, illustrating that our algorithm is indeed suitable to integrate state values from expert examples into Q-learning.