Can absolute paths be used within the --exclude parameter to prevent rclone from copying files in a specific directory?

The command you were trying to run (eg rclone copy /tmp remote:tmp)

/home/rclone copy /home/dlc/test/ /mnt/dlc4/ --min-age 1s --transfers 5 --checkers 2 --progress --no-traverse --ignore-errors --create-empty-src-dirs --max-duration 28800s --exclude "/home/dlc/test/test1/data-agent/**"

Can I use absolute paths to exclude files within a specific directory as shown in my command?

yes, can use absolute paths but it is a bit confusing.
the filter's path is relative to the root of the source.

so, in your case, the source is /home/dlc/test/
and the filter would be something like --exclude "/test1/data-agent/**"

since filters work only on the source, the easy and safe way to test filters is to use rclone ls
rclone ls /home/dlc/test/ --exclude "/test1/data-agent/**" -vv

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