[R] Learning the Arrow of Time
Saw this one at the Theoretical Physics for Deep Learning workshop at ICML this year.
Abstract: We humans seem to have an innate understanding of the asymmetric progression of time, which we use to efficiently and safely perceive and manipulate our environment. Drawing inspiration from that, we address the problem of learning an arrow of time in a Markov Decision Process. We illustrate how a learned arrow of time can capture meaningful information about the environment, which in turn can be used to measure reachability, detect side-effects and to obtain an intrinsic reward signal. We show empirical results on a selection of discrete and continuous environments, and demonstrate for a class of stochastic processes that the learned arrow of time agrees reasonably well with a known notion of an arrow of time given by the celebrated Jordan-Kinderlehrer-Otto result.