- Abstract: Meta reinforcement learning (meta-RL) is able to accelerate the acquisition of new tasks by learning from past experience. Current meta-RL methods usually learn to adapt to new tasks by directly optimizing the parameters of policies over primitive actions. However, for complex tasks which requires sophisticated control strategies, it would be quite inefficient to to directly learn such a meta-policy. Moreover, this problem can become more severe and even fail in spare reward settings, which is quite common in practice. To this end, we propose a new meta-RL algorithm called meta goal-generation for hierarchical RL (MGHRL) by leveraging hierarchical actor-critic framework. Instead of directly generate policies over primitive actions for new tasks, MGHRL learns to generate high-level meta strategies over subgoals given past experience and leaves the rest of how to achieve subgoals as independent RL subtasks. Our empirical results on several challenging simulated robotics environments show that our method enables more efficient and effective meta-learning from past experience and outperforms state-of-the-art meta-RL and Hierarchical-RL methods in sparse reward settings.
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