Adapting Behaviour for Learning ProgressDownload PDF

25 Sep 2019 (modified: 24 Dec 2019)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • TL;DR: Don’t tune exploration by hand: automagically adapt behaviour modulation for learning progress instead!
  • Abstract: Determining what experience to generate to best facilitate learning (i.e. exploration) is one of the distinguishing features and open challenges in reinforcement learning. The advent of distributed agents that interact with parallel instances of the environment has enabled larger scale and greater flexibility, but has not removed the need to tune or tailor exploration to the task, because the ideal data for the learning algorithm necessarily depends on its process of learning. We propose to dynamically adapt the data generation by using a non-stationary multi-armed bandit to optimize a proxy of the learning progress. The data distribution is controlled via modulating multiple parameters of the policy (such as stochasticity, consistency or optimism) without significant overhead. The adaptation speed of the bandit can be increased by exploiting the factored modulation structure. We demonstrate on a suite of Atari 2600 games how this unified approach produces results comparable to per-task tuning at a fraction of the cost.
  • Keywords: adaptation, behaviour, reinforcement learning, modulated behaviour, exploration, deep reinforcement learning
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