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Taking Gradients Through Experiments: LSTMs and Memory Proximal Policy Optimization for Black-Box Quantum Control

  • Moritz AugustEmail author
  • José Miguel Hernández-Lobato
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11203)

Abstract

In this work we introduce a general method to solve quantum control tasks as an interesting reinforcement learning problem not yet discussed in the machine learning community. We analyze the structure of the reinforcement learning problems typically arising in quantum physics and argue that agents parameterized by long short-term memory (LSTM) networks trained via stochastic policy gradients yield a versatile method to solving them. In this context we introduce a variant of the proximal policy optimization (PPO) algorithm called the memory proximal policy optimization (MPPO) which is based on the previous analysis. We argue that our method can by design be easily combined with numerical simulations as well as real experiments providing the reward signal. We demonstrate how the method can incorporate physical domain knowledge and present results of numerical experiments showing that it achieves state-of-the-art performance for several learning tasks in quantum control with discrete and continuous control parameters.

Keywords

Reinforcement learning Quantum control Numerical simulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moritz August
    • 1
    Email author
  • José Miguel Hernández-Lobato
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsTechnical University of MunichGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Computational and Biological Learning LabUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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