- Keywords: Offline Reinforcement Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Transfer Learning, Knowledge Transfer, Resource Constraints
- Abstract: Offline reinforcement learning is used to train policies in scenarios where real-time access to the environment is expensive or impossible. As a natural consequence of these harsh conditions, an agent may lack the resources to fully observe the online environment before taking an action. We dub this situation the resource-constrained setting. This leads to situations where the offline dataset (available for training) can contain fully processed features (using powerful language models, image models, complex sensors, etc.) which are not available when actions are actually taken online. This disconnect leads to an interesting and unexplored problem in offline RL: Is it possible to use a richly processed offline dataset to train a policy which has access to fewer features in the online environment? In this work, we introduce and formalize this novel resource-constrained problem setting. We highlight the performance gap between policies trained using the full offline dataset and policies trained using limited features. We address this performance gap with a policy transfer algorithm which first trains a teacher agent using the offline dataset where features are fully available, and then transfers this knowledge to a student agent that only uses the resource-constrained features. To better capture the challenge of this setting, we propose a data collection procedure: Resource Constrained-Datasets for RL (RC-D4RL). We evaluate our transfer algorithm on RC-D4RL and the popular D4RL benchmarks and observe consistent improvement over the baseline (TD3+BC without transfer).
- One-sentence Summary: We identify an important challenge in offline RL with resource constraints and propose a transfer learning algorithm to improve the performance in the resource constrained setting.