Hindsight policy gradients

Paulo Rauber, Avinash Ummadisingu, Filipe Mutz, Jürgen Schmidhuber

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: A reinforcement learning agent that needs to pursue different goals across episodes requires a goal-conditional policy. In addition to their potential to generalize desirable behavior to unseen goals, such policies may also enable higher-level planning based on subgoals. In sparse-reward environments, the capacity to exploit information about the degree to which an arbitrary goal has been achieved while another goal was intended appears crucial to enable sample efficient learning. However, reinforcement learning agents have only recently been endowed with such capacity for hindsight. In this paper, we demonstrate how hindsight can be introduced to policy gradient methods, generalizing this idea to a broad class of successful algorithms. Our experiments on a diverse selection of sparse-reward environments show that hindsight leads to a remarkable increase in sample efficiency.
  • Keywords: reinforcement learning, policy gradients, multi-goal reinforcement learning
  • TL;DR: We introduce the capacity to exploit information about the degree to which an arbitrary goal has been achieved while another goal was intended to policy gradient methods.
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