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Deep Reinforcement Learning Versus Evolution Strategies: A Comparative Survey
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  • Amjad Majid ,
  • Amjad Yousef Majid ,
  • Serge Saaybi ,
  • Tomas van Rietbergen ,
  • Vincent Francois-Lavet ,
  • R Venkatesha Prasad ,
  • Chris Verhoeven
Amjad Majid
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Amjad Yousef Majid
Delft University of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Serge Saaybi
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Tomas van Rietbergen
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Vincent Francois-Lavet
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R Venkatesha Prasad
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Chris Verhoeven
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Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) has the potential to surpass human-level control in sequential decision-making problems. Evolution Strategies (ESs) have different characteristics than DRL, yet they are promoted as a scalable alternative.
To get insights into their strengths and weaknesses, in this paper, we put the two approaches side by side. After presenting the fundamental concepts and algorithms for each of the two approaches, they are compared from the perspectives of scalability, exploration, adaptation to dynamic environments, and multi-agent learning. Then, the paper discusses hybrid algorithms, combining aspects of both DRL and ESs, and how they attempt to capitalize on the benefits of both techniques. Lastly, both approaches are compared based on the set of applications they support, showing their potential for tackling real-world problems.
This paper aims to present an overview of how DRL and ESs can be used, either independently or in unison, to solve specific learning tasks. It is intended to guide researchers to select which method suits them best and provides a bird’s eye view of the overall literature in the field. Further, we also provide application scenarios and open challenges.
2023Published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems on pages 1-19. 10.1109/TNNLS.2023.3264540