Learning to Reinforcement Learn by Imitation

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Meta-reinforcement learning aims to learn fast reinforcement learning (RL) procedures that can be applied to new tasks or environments. While learning fast RL procedures holds promise for allowing agents to autonomously learn a diverse range of skills, existing methods for learning efficient RL are impractical for real world settings, as they rely on slow reinforcement learning algorithms for meta-training, even when the learned procedures are fast. In this paper, we propose to learn a fast reinforcement learning procedure through supervised imitation of an expert, such that, after meta-learning, an agent can quickly learn new tasks through trial-and-error. Through our proposed method, we show that it is possible to learn fast RL using demonstrations, rather than relying on slow RL, where expert agents can be trained quickly by using privileged information or off-policy RL methods. Our experimental evaluation on a number of complex simulated robotic domains demonstrates that our method can effectively learn to learn from spare rewards and is significantly more efficient than prior meta reinforcement learning algorithms.
  • Keywords: meta-learning, reinforcement learning, imitation learning
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