Environment probing interaction policies

Wenxuan Zhou, Lerrel Pinto, Abhinav Gupta

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

A key challenge in reinforcement learning (RL) is environment generalization: a policy trained to solve a task in one environment often fails to solve the same task in a slightly different test environment. A common approach to improve inter-environment transfer is to learn policies that are invariant to the distribution of testing environments. However, we argue that instead of being invariant, the policy should identify the specific nuances of an environment and exploit them to achieve better performance. In this work, we propose the “Environment-Probing” Interaction (EPI) policy, a policy that probes a new environment to extract an implicit understanding of that environment's behavior. Once this environment-specific information is obtained, it is used as an additional input to a task-specific policy that can now perform environment-conditioned actions to solve a task. To learn these EPI-policies, we present a reward function based on transition predictability. Specifically, a higher reward is given if the trajectory generated by the EPI-policy can be used to better predict transitions. We experimentally show that EPI-conditioned task-specific policies significantly outperform commonly used policy generalization methods on novel testing environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2019
Event7th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2019 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: May 6 2019May 9 2019

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2019
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period5/6/195/9/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

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