Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement Learning








Reinforcement learning is the study of decision making over time with consequences. The field has developed systems to make decisions in complex environments based on external, and possibly delayed, feedback.

At Microsoft Research, we are working on building the theory, algorithms and systems for technology that learns from its own successes (and failures), explores the world “just enough” to learn, and can infer which decisions have led to those outcomes. Our primary goal is reinforcement learning in the real world: understanding how to build systems that work, even when simulation is unavailable and samples are scarce.

We are working to create the future across a broad range of applications, including dialogue systems, game playing, content placement, program synthesis, recommendations, web search, natural language processing, and systems optimization.


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Blogs & podcasts

Provably efficient reinforcement learning with rich observations

Reinforcement learning, a machine learning paradigm for sequential decision making, has stormed into the limelight, receiving tremendous attention from both researchers and practitioners. When combined with deep learning, reinforcement learning (RL)…

Microsoft Research Blog | June 3, 2019

Reinforcement learning for the real world with Dr. John Langford and Rafah Hosn

John Langford and Rafah HosnEpisode 75 | Dr. John Langford, a partner researcher in the Machine Learning group at Microsoft Research New York City, is a reinforcement learning expert who is working, in his own words, to solve machine learning. Rafah Hosn, also of MSR New York, is a principal program manager who’s working to take that work to the world…

Microsoft Research Podcast | May 8, 2019

Malmo, Minecraft and machine learning with Dr. Katja Hofmann

Katja HofmannEpisode 39 | The wildly popular video game, Minecraft, might appear to be an unlikely candidate for machine learning research, but to Dr. Katja Hofmann, the research lead of Project Malmo in the Machine Intelligence and Perception Group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge…

Microsoft Research Podcast | August 29, 2018


Microsoft Research Webinar: Foundations of Real-World Reinforcement Learning

MSR Webinar with John Langford and Alekh AgerwalIn this webinar—led by Microsoft Researchers John Langford, Partner Research Manager with over a decade of experience in reinforcement learning-related research, and Alekh Agarwal, Principal Research Manager and leader of the Reinforcement Learning group in Redmond—learn how RL works to impact real-world problems across a variety of domains…

Microsoft Research Webinar | December 5, 2019

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