# Generative AI with LLMs: Proximal Policy Optimization: What Does Proximal Mean?

Learn what the term “proximal” means in the context of Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO), a reinforcement learning algorithm that trains an agent’s policy with a novel objective function and a constraint.

## Question

What does the “Proximal” in Proximal Policy Optimization refer to?

A. The algorithm’s proximity to the optimal policy
B. The use of a proximal gradient descent algorithm
C. The constraint that limits the distance between the new and old policy
D. The algorithm’s ability to handle proximal policies.

C. The constraint that limits the distance between the new and old policy

## Explanation

The correct answer is C. The constraint that limits the distance between the new and old policy. Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO) is a reinforcement learning algorithm that trains an agent’s policy to perform well in complex tasks. PPO uses a novel objective function that encourages the agent to improve its policy while staying close to its previous policy. This is achieved by applying a constraint that penalizes the agent if the ratio of the new and old policy probabilities exceeds a certain threshold. This constraint ensures that the policy update is not too large and does not harm the agent’s performance. The term “proximal” refers to this constraint, which keeps the new policy in the vicinity (or proximity) of the old policy.

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### Alex Lim

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook