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- Keywords: Visual Planning, Model-Based RL, Representation Learning
- TL;DR: We propose Hallucinative Topological Memory (HTM), a visual planning algorithm that can perform zero-shot long horizon planning in new environments.
- Abstract: In visual planning (VP), an agent learns to plan goal-directed behavior from observations of a dynamical system obtained offline, e.g., images obtained from self-supervised robot interaction. VP algorithms essentially combine data-driven perception and planning, and are important for robotic manipulation and navigation domains, among others. A recent and promising approach to VP is the semi-parametric topological memory (SPTM) method, where image samples are treated as nodes in a graph, and the connectivity in the graph is learned using deep image classification. Thus, the learned graph represents the topological connectivity of the data, and planning can be performed using conventional graph search methods. However, training SPTM necessitates a suitable loss function for the connectivity classifier, which requires non-trivial manual tuning. More importantly, SPTM is constricted in its ability to generalize to changes in the domain, as its graph is constructed from direct observations and thus requires collecting new samples for planning. In this paper, we propose Hallucinative Topological Memory (HTM), which overcomes these shortcomings. In HTM, instead of training a discriminative classifier we train an energy function using contrastive predictive coding. In addition, we learn a conditional VAE model that generates samples given a context image of the domain, and use these hallucinated samples for building the connectivity graph, allowing for zero-shot generalization to domain changes. In simulated domains, HTM outperforms conventional SPTM and visual foresight methods in terms of both plan quality and success in long-horizon planning.