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Reinforcement Learning with External Knowledge and Two-Stage Q-functions for Predicting Popular Reddit Threads

Abstract · Apr 20, 2017 16:30 ·

reddit discussion popularity actions narasimhan comments action cs-cl

Arxiv Abstract

  • Ji He
  • Mari Ostendorf
  • Xiaodong He

This paper addresses the problem of predicting popularity of comments in an online discussion forum using reinforcement learning, particularly addressing two challenges that arise from having natural language state and action spaces. First, the state representation, which characterizes the history of comments tracked in a discussion at a particular point, is augmented to incorporate the global context represented by discussions on world events available in an external knowledge source. Second, a two-stage Q-learning framework is introduced, making it feasible to search the combinatorial action space while also accounting for redundancy among sub-actions. We experiment with five Reddit communities, showing that the two methods improve over previous reported results on this task.

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