# Correlation and sample efficiency

One of the approaches to improving the stability of the policy gradient family of methods is using multiple environments in parallel. The reason behind this is the fundamental problem we discussed in *Chapter 6*, *Deep Q-Networks*, when we talked about the correlation between samples, which breaks the **independent and identically distributed** (**i.i.d.**) assumption, which is critical for **stochastic gradient descent** (**SGD**) optimization. The negative consequence of such correlation is very high variance in gradients, which means that our training batch contains very similar examples, all of them pushing our network in the same direction.

However, this may be totally the wrong direction in the global sense, as all those examples may be from one single lucky or unlucky episode.

With our **deep Q-network** (**DQN**), we solved the issue by storing a large number of previous states in the replay buffer and sampling our training batch from this buffer. If the buffer...