A Formal Framework for Speedup Learning from Problems and Solutions

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Abstract

Speedup learning seeks to improve the computational efficiency of problem solving with experience. In this paper, we develop a formal framework for learning efficient problem solving from random problems and their solutions. We apply this framework to two different representations of learned knowledge, namely control rules and macro-operators, and prove theorems that identify sufficient conditions for learning in each representation. Our proofs are constructive in that they are accompanied with learning algorithms. Our framework captures both empirical and explanation-based speedup learning in a unified fashion. We illustrate our framework with implementations in two domains: symbolic integration and Eight Puzzle. This work integrates many strands of experimental and theoretical work in machine learning, including empirical learning of control rules, macro-operator learning, Explanation-Based Learning (EBL), and Probably Approximately Correct (PAC) Learning.

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