Greatest Fixed Points of Probabilistic Min/Max Polynomial Equations, and Reachability for Branching Markov Decision Processes?

Kousha Etessami, Alistair Stewart, Mihalis Yannakakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

We give polynomial time algorithms for quantitative (and qualitative) reachability analysis for Branching Markov Decision Processes (BMDPs). Specifically, given a BMDP, and given an initial population, where the objective of the controller is to maximize (or minimize) the probability of eventually reaching a population that contains an object of a desired (or undesired) type, we give algorithms for approximating the supremum (infimum) reachability probability, within desired precision epsilon > 0, in time polynomial in the encoding size of the BMDP and in log(1/epsilon). We furthermore give P-time algorithms for computing epsilon-optimal strategies for both maximization and minimization of reachability probabilities. We also give P-time algorithms for all associated qualitative analysis problems, namely: deciding whether the optimal (supremum or infimum) reachability probabilities are 0 or 1. Prior to this paper, approximation of optimal reachability probabilities for BMDPs was not even known to be decidable.
Our algorithms exploit the following basic fact: we show that for any BMDP, its maximum (minimum) non-reachability probabilities are given by the greatest fixed point (GFP) solution g* in [0,1]^n of a corresponding monotone max (min) Probabilistic Polynomial System of equations (max/min-PPS), x=P(x), which are the Bellman optimality equations for a BMDP with non-reachability objectives. We show how to compute the GFP of max/min PPSs to desired precision in P-time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutomata, Languages, and Programming
Subtitle of host publication42nd International Colloquium, ICALP 2015, Kyoto, Japan, July 6-10, 2015, Proceedings, Part II
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-662-47666-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-47665-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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