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Bounded rationality, abstraction and hierarchical decision-making: an information-theoretic optimality principle

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Genewein,  T
Research Group Sensorimotor Learning and Decision-Making, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Leibfried,  F
Research Group Sensorimotor Learning and Decision-Making, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Grau-Moya,  J
Research Group Sensorimotor Learning and Decision-Making, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Braun,  DA
Research Group Sensorimotor Learning and Decision-Making, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Genewein, T., Leibfried, F., Grau-Moya, J., & Braun, D. (2015). Bounded rationality, abstraction and hierarchical decision-making: an information-theoretic optimality principle. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 2: 27, pp. 1-24. doi:10.3389/frobt.2015.00027.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-4410-6
Abstract
Abstraction and hierarchical information-processing are hallmarks of human and animal intelligence underlying the unrivaled flexibility of behavior in biological systems. Achieving such a flexibility in artificial systems is challenging, even with more and more computational power. Here we investigate the hypothesis that abstraction and hierarchical information-processing might in fact be the consequence of limitations in information-processing power. In particular, we study an information-theoretic framework of bounded rational decision-making that trades off utility maximization against information-processing costs. We apply the basic principle of this framework to perception-action systems with multiple information-processing nodes and derive bounded optimal solutions. We show how the formation of abstractions and decision-making hierarchies depends on information-processing costs. We illustrate the theoretical ideas with example simulations and conclude by formalizing a mathematically unifying optimization principle that could potentially be extended to more complex systems.