Inverted pendulum using learning

The inverted pendulum problem from OpenAI Gym is solved using a simple network that learns the relevant derivatives using positional data. The inferred derivatives are used in a RL-scheme which keeps the cart stable.


Why is this important/exciting?

Optimal control theory is having a renascence in complex network analysis. There are many very good reasons for this, and if you’re interested, I suggest that you read this excellent article by Yang-Yu Liu and Albert-Laszló Barabási.

This project is meant to increase my own (and perhaps your own) understanding of a simple problem: The inverted pendulum or cart-pole problem. This can be solved explicitly using optimal control theory. To make things a bit more difficult for our selves, and hopefully discover or learn something in the process, we “overlay” a neural-network over the variabels of interest, such that the network must learn the relevant control parameters.


To-do list:

  • Train a fully connected, one-layer network on (essentially noisy) positional data from CartPole-v0 to learn first and second derivatives of cart position and pole angle (this is given in OpenAI). The output of this network will be the probability of a derivative and and not the derivative itself.
  • Use the output of the network on the fly combined with Q-learning to keep the pole stable.