A Survey on Physics Informed Reinforcement Learning: Review and Open Problems

by   Chayan Banerjee, et al.

The inclusion of physical information in machine learning frameworks has revolutionized many application areas. This involves enhancing the learning process by incorporating physical constraints and adhering to physical laws. In this work we explore their utility for reinforcement learning applications. We present a thorough review of the literature on incorporating physics information, as known as physics priors, in reinforcement learning approaches, commonly referred to as physics-informed reinforcement learning (PIRL). We introduce a novel taxonomy with the reinforcement learning pipeline as the backbone to classify existing works, compare and contrast them, and derive crucial insights. Existing works are analyzed with regard to the representation/ form of the governing physics modeled for integration, their specific contribution to the typical reinforcement learning architecture, and their connection to the underlying reinforcement learning pipeline stages. We also identify core learning architectures and physics incorporation biases (i.e., observational, inductive and learning) of existing PIRL approaches and use them to further categorize the works for better understanding and adaptation. By providing a comprehensive perspective on the implementation of the physics-informed capability, the taxonomy presents a cohesive approach to PIRL. It identifies the areas where this approach has been applied, as well as the gaps and opportunities that exist. Additionally, the taxonomy sheds light on unresolved issues and challenges, which can guide future research. This nascent field holds great potential for enhancing reinforcement learning algorithms by increasing their physical plausibility, precision, data efficiency, and applicability in real-world scenarios.


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