Research Post

Looking Back on the Actor-Critic Architecture


This retrospective describes the overall research project that gave rise to the authors’ paper “Neuronlike adaptive elements that can solve difficult learning control problems” that was published in the 1983 Neural and Sensory Information Processing special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. This look back explains how this project came about, presents the ideas and previous publications that influenced it, and describes our most closely related subsequent research. It concludes by pointing out some noteworthy aspects of this article that have been eclipsed by its main contributions, followed by commenting on some of the directions and cautions that should inform future research.

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