Keywords: Offline Reinforcement Learning, Model Based Reinforcement learning
Abstract: Reinforcement Learning (RL) methods are typically applied directly in environments to learn policies. In some complex environments with continuous state-action spaces, sparse rewards, and/or long temporal horizons, learning a good policy in the original environments can be difficult. Focusing on the offline RL setting, we aim to build a simple and discrete world model that abstracts the original environment. RL methods are applied to our world model instead of the environment data for simplified policy learning. Our world model, dubbed Value Memory Graph (VMG), is designed as a directed-graph-based Markov decision process (MDP) of which vertices and directed edges represent graph states and graph actions, separately. As state-action spaces of VMG are finite and relatively small compared to the original environment, we can directly apply the value iteration algorithm on VMG to estimate graph state values and figure out the best graph actions. VMG is trained from and built on the offline RL dataset. Together with an action translator that converts the abstract graph actions in VMG to real actions in the original environment, VMG controls agents to maximize episode returns. Our experiments on the D4RL benchmark show that VMG can outperform state-of-the-art offline RL methods in several tasks, especially when environments have sparse rewards and long temporal horizons. Code will be made publicly available.
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