Keywords: Sparse rewards, Dynamic goals, Experience replay
Abstract: Dealing with sparse rewards is one of the most important challenges in reinforcement learning (RL), especially when a goal is dynamic (e.g., to grasp a moving object). Hindsight experience replay (HER) has been shown an effective solution to handling sparse rewards with fixed goals. However, it does not account for dynamic goals in its vanilla form and, as a result, even degrades the performance of existing off-policy RL algorithms when the goal is changing over time. In this paper, we present Dynamic Hindsight Experience Replay (DHER), a novel approach for tasks with dynamic goals in the presence of sparse rewards. DHER automatically assembles successful experiences from two relevant failures and can be used to enhance an arbitrary off-policy RL algorithm when the tasks' goals are dynamic. We evaluate DHER on tasks of robotic manipulation and moving object tracking, and transfer the polices from simulation to physical robots. Extensive comparison and ablation studies demonstrate the superiority of our approach, showing that DHER is a crucial ingredient to enable RL to solve tasks with dynamic goals in manipulation and grid world domains.
Code: [![github](/images/github_icon.svg) mengf1/DHER](https://github.com/mengf1/DHER)