Grounding Language to Entities for Generalization in Reinforcement LearningDownload PDF

28 Sept 2020 (modified: 05 May 2023)ICLR 2021 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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Keywords: reinforcement learning, language grounding
Abstract: In this paper, we consider the problem of leveraging textual descriptions to improve generalization of control policies to new scenarios. Unlike prior work in this space, we do not assume access to any form of prior knowledge connecting text and state observations, and learn both symbol grounding and control policy simultaneously. This is challenging due to a lack of concrete supervision, and incorrect groundings can result in worse performance than policies that do not use the text at all. We develop a new model, EMMA (Entity Mapper with Multi-modal Attention) which uses a multi-modal entity-conditioned attention module that allows for selective focus over relevant sentences in the manual for each entity in the environment. EMMA is end-to-end differentiable and can learn a latent grounding of entities and dynamics from text to observations using environment rewards as the only source of supervision. To empirically test our model, we design a new framework of 1320 games and collect text manuals with free-form natural language via crowd-sourcing. We demonstrate that EMMA achieves successful zero-shot generalization to unseen games with new dynamics, obtaining significantly higher rewards compared to multiple baselines. The grounding acquired by EMMA is also robust to noisy descriptions and linguistic variation.
One-sentence Summary: We use textual descriptions to improve generalization of control policies to new environments without prior knowledge connecting text and state observations.
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