Self-Supervised Policy Adaptation during DeploymentDownload PDF

28 Sep 2020 (modified: 25 Jan 2021)ICLR 2021 SpotlightReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: reinforcement learning, robotics, self-supervised learning, generalization, sim2real
  • Abstract: In most real world scenarios, a policy trained by reinforcement learning in one environment needs to be deployed in another, potentially quite different environment. However, generalization across different environments is known to be hard. A natural solution would be to keep training after deployment in the new environment, but this cannot be done if the new environment offers no reward signal. Our work explores the use of self-supervision to allow the policy to continue training after deployment without using any rewards. While previous methods explicitly anticipate changes in the new environment, we assume no prior knowledge of those changes yet still obtain significant improvements. Empirical evaluations are performed on diverse simulation environments from DeepMind Control suite and ViZDoom, as well as real robotic manipulation tasks in continuously changing environments, taking observations from an uncalibrated camera. Our method improves generalization in 28 out of 32 environments across various tasks and outperforms domain randomization on a majority of environments. Videos are available at
  • One-sentence Summary: Generalization across enviroments is known to be hard. We propose a self-supervised method for policy adaptation during deployment that assumes no prior knowledge of the test environment, yet still obtain significant improvements.
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