But how big is the field of RL now? If I had to guess I would say that there are several hundreds of researchers around the world who would self-identify themselves as being RL researchers.
So, the objective of this post is to solicit ideas and more importantly effort in measuring the size of the field of RL. Here are some ideas of how to collect some data. Any volunteers?
- Collect a list of conferences that publish substantial number of RL papers. These include (in no particular order) ICML, NIPS, AAAI, UAI, COLT, IJCAI, AAMAS, and ECML. What other major venues am I missing?
- Establish some simple and noisy methodology for determining when a paper is an RL paper.
- If the paper publishes keywords then look for phrases from some list that pretty clearly indicates an RL paper, e.g., reinforcement learning, Q-learning, TD, temporal differences (What others am I missing?). I think it will introduce too much noise to include MDPs and POMDPs.
- Look for the same list of keywords identified above in the title and abstract.
- Do we need to do more sophisticated things?