Deep Reinforcement Learning of Universal Policies with Diverse Environment Summaries

Felix Berkenkamp, Debadeepta Dey, Ashish Kapoor

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Deep reinforcement learning has enabled robots to complete complex tasks in simulation. However, the resulting policies do not transfer to real robots due to model errors in the simulator. One solution is to randomize the simulation environment, so that the resulting, trained policy achieves high performance in expectation over a variety of configurations that could represent the real-world. However, the distribution over simulator configurations must be carefully selected to represent the relevant dynamic modes of the system, as otherwise it can be unlikely to sample challenging configurations frequently enough. Moreover, the ideal distribution to improve the policy changes as the policy (un)learns to solve tasks in certain configurations. In this paper, we propose to use an inexpensive, kernel-based summarization method method that identifies configurations that lead to diverse behaviors. Since failure modes for the given task are naturally diverse, the policy trains on a mixture of representative and challenging configurations, which leads to more robust policies. In experiments, we show that the proposed method achieves the same performance as domain randomization in simple cases, but performs better when domain randomization does not lead to diverse dynamic modes.
  • Keywords: Domain Randomization, Diverse Summaries, Reinforcement learning
  • TL;DR: As an alternative to domain randomization, we summarize simulator configurations to ensure that the policy is trained on a diverse set of induced state-trajectories.
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