Approximation of empowerment in the continuous domain

Christoph Salge, Cornelius Glackin, D. Polani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


The empowerment formalism offers a goal-independent utility function fully derived from an agent's embodiment. It produces intrinsic motivations which can be used to generate self-organizing behaviours in agents. One obstacle to the application of empowerment in more demanding (esp. continuous) domains is that previous ways of calculating empowerment have been very time consuming and only provided a proof-of-concept. In this paper we present a new approach to efficiently approximate empowerment as a parallel, linear, Gaussian channel capacity problem. We use pendulum balancing to demonstrate this new method, and compare it to earlier approximation methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1250079
Number of pages29
JournalAdvances in Complex Systems
Issue number1&2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Goal Independence
  • Empowerment
  • Information Theory
  • Channel Capacity
  • Perception-Action Loop
  • Self-Organization
  • Continuous Domain
  • Control Theory


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