Proper Laplacian Representation Learning

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 11 Mar 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: Reinforcement learning, Graph Laplacian, Representation learning, Augmented Lagrangian optimization, Hyperparameter robustness
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TL;DR: We propose a theoretically-sound method to learn the Laplacian representation with deep neural networks, addressing limitations of all the previous methods in the literature.
Abstract: The ability to learn good representations of states is essential for solving large reinforcement learning problems, where exploration, generalization, and transfer are particularly challenging. The _Laplacian representation_ is a promising approach to address these problems by inducing informative state encoding and intrinsic rewards for temporally-extended action discovery and reward shaping. To obtain the Laplacian representation one needs to compute the eigensystem of the graph Laplacian, which is often approximated through optimization objectives compatible with deep learning approaches. These approximations, however, depend on hyperparameters that are impossible to tune efficiently, converge to arbitrary rotations of the desired eigenvectors, and are unable to accurately recover the corresponding eigenvalues. In this paper we introduce a theoretically sound objective and corresponding optimization algorithm for approximating the Laplacian representation. Our approach naturally recovers both the true eigenvectors and eigenvalues while eliminating the hyperparameter dependence of previous approximations. We provide theoretical guarantees for our method and we show that those results translate empirically into robust learning across multiple environments.
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Primary Area: reinforcement learning
Submission Number: 6711