Probabilistic Program Induction for Intuitive Physics Game Play

Fahad Alhasoun

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Recent findings suggest that humans deploy cognitive mechanism of physics simulation engines to simulate the physics of objects. We propose a framework for bots to deploy similar tools for interacting with intuitive physics environments. The framework employs a physics simulation in a probabilistic way to infer about moves performed by an agent in a setting governed by Newtonian laws of motion. However, methods of probabilistic programs can be slow in such setting due to their need to generate many samples. We complement the model with a model-free approach to aid the sampling procedures in becoming more efficient through learning from experience during game playing. We present an approach where a myriad of model-free approaches (a convolutional neural network in our model) and model-based approaches (probabilistic physics simulation) is able to achieve what neither could alone. This way the model outperforms an all model-free or all model-based approach. We discuss a case study showing empirical results of the performance of the model on the game of Flappy Bird.
  • Keywords: intuitive physics, probabilistic programming, computational cognitive science, probabilistic models
  • TL;DR: The paper describes a method imitating human cognition about the physical world to play games in environments of physical interactions.
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