Explainable Artificial Intelligence Techniques for the Analysis of Reinforcement Learning in Non-Linear Flight Regimes

Gabriel de Haro Pizarroso, E. van Kampen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Reinforcement Learning is being increasingly applied to flight control tasks, with the objective of developing truly autonomous flying vehicles able to traverse highly variable environments and adapt to unknown situations or possible failures. However, the development of these increasingly complex models and algorithms further reduces our understanding of their inner workings. This can affect the safety and reliability of the algorithms, as it is difficult or even impossible to determine which are their failure characteristics and how they will react in situations never tested before. It is possible to remedy this lack of understanding through the development of eXplainable Artifial Intelligence and eXplainable Reinforcement Learning methods like SHapley Additive Explanations. This tool is used to analyze the strategy learnt by an Actor-Critic Incremental Dual Heuristic Programming controller architecture when presented with a pitch rate or roll rate tracking task in non-linear flying conditions, such as at high angles of attack and large sideslip angles. This same controller architecture has been previously explored with the same analysis tool but limited to the nominal linear flight regime, and it was observed that the controller learnt linear control laws, even though its Artificial Neural Networks should be able to approximate any function. Interestingly, it was discovered in this research paper that even in the non-linear flight regime it is still more optimal for this controller architecture to learn quasi-linear control laws, although it seems to continuously modify the linear slope as if it was an extreme case of the gain scheduling technique.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2023
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-699-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventAIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum - National Harbor, MD & Online, Washington, United States
Duration: 23 Jan 202327 Jan 2023


ConferenceAIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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