Adaptive Treatment of Epilepsy via Batch-mode Reinforcement Learning

Arthur Guez, Robert D. Vincent, Massimo Avoli, Joelle Pineau

This paper highlights the crucial role that modern machine learning techniques can play in the optimization of treatment strategies for patients with chronic disorders. In particular, we focus on the task of optimizing a deep-brain stimulation strategy for the treatment of epilepsy. The challenge is to choose which stimulation action to apply, as a function of the observed EEG signal, so as to minimize the frequency and duration of seizures. We apply recent techniques from the reinforcement learning literature—namely fitted Q-iteration and extremely randomized trees—to learn an optimal stimulation policy using labeled training data from animal brain tissues. Our results show that these methods are an effective means of reducing the incidence of seizures, while also minimizing the amount of stimulation applied. If these results carry over to the human model of epilepsy, the impact for patients will be substantial.

Subjects: 12.1 Reinforcement Learning; 3.4 Probabilistic Reasoning

Submitted: Mar 25, 2008

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