Relational-grid-world: a novel relational reasoning environment and an agent model for relational information extraction

Kucuksubasi F., SÜRER E.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCES, vol.29, no.2, pp.1259-1274, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/elk-2008-94
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Applied Science & Technology Source, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1259-1274
  • Keywords: Reinforcement learning, relational reinforcement learning, relational reasoning, relation networks, attention networks
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Reinforcement learning (RL) agents are often designed specifically for a particular problem and they generally have uninterpretable working processes. Statistical metho ds-based agent algorithms can be improved in terms of generalizability and interpretability using symbolic artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as logic programming. In this study, we present a model-free RL architecture that is supported with explicit relational representations of the environmental objects. For the first time, we use the PrediNet network architecture in a dynamic decision-making problem rather than image-based tasks, and multi-head dot-product attention network (MHDPA) as a baseline for performance comparisons. We tested two networks in two environments -i.e., the baseline box-world environment and our novel environment, relational-grid-world (RGW). With the procedurally generated RGW environment, which is complex in terms of visual perceptions and combinatorial selections, it is easy to measure the relational representation performance of the RL agents. The experiments were carried out using different configurations of the environment so that the presented module and the environment were compared with the baselines. We reached similar policy optimization performance results with the PrediNet architecture and MHDPA. Additionally, we achieved to extract the propositional representation explicitly -which makes the agent's statistical policy logic more interpretable and tractable. This flexibility in the agent's policy provides convenience for designing non-task-specific agent architectures. The main contributions of this study are two-fold -an RL agent that can explicitly perform relational reasoning, and a new environment that measures the relational reasoning capabilities of RL agents.