Efficient Wasserstein and Sinkhorn Policy OptimizationDownload PDF

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Sep 29, 2021 (edited Oct 05, 2021)ICLR 2022 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Abstract: Trust-region methods based on Kullback-Leibler divergence are pervasively used to stabilize policy optimization in reinforcement learning. In this paper, we examine two natural extensions of policy optimziation with Wasserstein and Sinkhorn trust regions, namely Wasserstein policy optimization (WPO) and Sinkhorn policy optimization (SPO). Instead of restricting the policy to a parametric distribution class, we directly optimize the policy distribution and derive their close-form policy updates based on the Lagrangian duality. Theoretically, we show that WPO guarantees a monotonic performance improvement, and SPO provably converges to WPO as the entropic regularizer diminishes. Experiments across tabular domains and robotic locomotion tasks further demonstrate the performance improvement of both approaches, more robustness of WPO to sample insufficiency, and faster convergence of SPO, over state-of-art policy gradient methods.
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