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Training agent in reinforcement learning: reproducibility of the code

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I get two different results from running this water-tank system example for reinforcement learning made by Mathworks:
This example has fixed the random number generator seed rng(0), so I expected the result to be the same on all computer. However, I ended up with two different agents on two computers:
  • Computer A finished training the agent after 86 episodes (just like the published example) and gave me an identical agent to the example.
  • Computer B needed 182 episodes to train the agent and gave me a different agent.
Both computers run MATLAB R2023b 64-bit on MS Windows 10. The code is unchanged from the example (except for changing doTraining = false to doTraining = true).
Computer A has an 8-core i7 processor. Computer B has a 6-core i7 processor.
I'm writing a tutorial for a univeristy-level course, so reproducibility is necessary so that students can follow the example. Any tip on how to facilitate this is also much appreciated.

Accepted Answer

Ari Biswas
Ari Biswas on 20 Feb 2024
This could also be as a result of slight variations in floating point numbers across the different computer architectures. These variations can add up to produce significant differences. That is why we cannot always guarantee reproducibility of results in our examples. It is ideal to have the same environment when trying to reproduce the training. If you cannot ensure everyone has the same system configuration, then it would be good to vary the random seed or the agent hyperparameters a little bit to get better training performance.

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