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Bounded Rational Decision-Making in Changing Environments


Conference Paper


A perfectly rational decision-maker chooses the best action with the highest utility gain from a set of possible actions. The optimality principles that describe such decision processes do not take into account the computational costs of finding the optimal action. Bounded rational decision-making addresses this problem by specifically trading off information-processing costs and expected utility. Interestingly, a similar trade-off between energy and entropy arises when describing changes in thermodynamic systems. This similarity has been recently used to describe bounded rational agents. Crucially, this framework assumes that the environment does not change while the decision-maker is computing the optimal policy. When this requirement is not fulfilled, the decision-maker will suffer inefficiencies in utility, that arise because the current policy is optimal for an environment in the past. Here we borrow concepts from non-equilibrium thermodynamics to quantify these inefficiencies and illustrate with simulations its relationship with computational resources.

Author(s): Grau-Moya, J and Braun, DA
Pages: 1-9
Year: 2013
Month: December

Department(s): Empirical Inference
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (conference)

Event Name: NIPS 2013 Workshop Planning with Information Constraints for Control, Reinforcement Learning, Computational Neuroscience, Robotics and Games
Event Place: Lake Tahoe, NV, USA

URL: http://www.kyb.tuebingen.mpg.defileadmin/user_upload/files/publications/2013/NIPS-2013-Workshop-Grau.pdf


  title = {Bounded Rational Decision-Making in Changing Environments},
  author = {Grau-Moya, J and Braun, DA},
  pages = {1-9},
  month = dec,
  year = {2013},
  url = {http://www.kyb.tuebingen.mpg.defileadmin/user_upload/files/publications/2013/NIPS-2013-Workshop-Grau.pdf},
  month_numeric = {12}