This technical brief makes use of the concept of symbolic time series analysis (STSA) for identifying discrete states from the non-linear time response of a chaotic dynamical for model-free reinforcement learning (RL) control. Along this line, a projection-based method is adopted to construct probabilistic finite state automata (PFSA) for identification of the current state (i.e., operational regime) of the Lorenz system; and a (Q-map-based and model-free) RL control strategy is formulated to reach the target state from the (identified) current state. A synergistic combination of PFSA-based state identification and RL control is demonstrated by simulation of a numeric model of the Lorenz system, which yields very satisfactory performance to reach the target states from the current states in real time.

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