This work develops asymptotically optimal controls for discrete-time singularly perturbed Markov decision processes (MDPs) having weak and strong interactions. The focus is on finite-state-space-MDP problems. The state space of the underlying Markov chain can be decomposed into a number of recurrent classes or a number of recurrent classes and a group of transient states. Using a hierarchical control approach, continuous-time limit problems that are much simpler to handle than the original ones are derived. Based on the optimal solutions for the limit problems, nearly optimal decisions for the original problems are obtained. The asymptotic optimality of such controls is proved and the rate of convergence is provided. Infinite horizon problems are considered; both discounted costs and long-run average costs are examined.
Applied Mathematics and Optimization – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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