Strategic exploration in human adaptive control

Eric Schulz, Edgar Klenske, Neil Bramley, Maarten Speekenbrink

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

Abstract / Description of output

How do people explore in order to gain rewards in uncertain dynamical systems? Within a reinforcement learning paradigm, control normally involves trading off between exploration (i.e. trying out actions in order to gain more knowledge about the system) and exploitation (i.e. using current knowledge of the system to maximize reward). We study a novel control task in which participants must steer a boat on a grid, assessing whether participants explore strategically in order to produce higher rewards later on. We find that participants explore strategically yet conservatively, exploring more when mistakes are less costly and practicing actions that will be needed later on.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
PublisherCognitive Science Society
ISBN (Print)9780991196760
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017
EventCogSci 2017: 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Hilton London Metropole, 225 Edgware Rd, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jul 201729 Jul 2017


ConferenceCogSci 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • reinforcement learning
  • strategic exploration
  • control
  • exploration-exploitation


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  • CogSci 2017

    Neil Bramley (Presenter)

    26 Jul 201729 Jul 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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