CausalDyna: Improving Generalization of Dyna-style Reinforcement Learning via Counterfactual-Based Data AugmentationDownload PDF


Sep 29, 2021 (edited Oct 05, 2021)ICLR 2022 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Abstract: Deep reinforcement learning agents trained in real-world environments with a limited diversity of object properties to learn manipulation tasks tend to suffer overfitting and fail to generalize to unseen testing environments. To improve the agents' ability to generalize to object properties rarely seen or unseen, we propose a data-efficient reinforcement learning algorithm, CausalDyna, that exploits structural causal models (SCMs) to model the state dynamics. The learned SCM enables us to counterfactually reason what would have happened had the object had a different property value. This can help remedy limitations of real-world environments or avoid risky exploration of robots (e.g., heavy objects may damage the robot). We evaluate our algorithm in the CausalWorld robotic-manipulation environment. When augmented with counterfactual data, our CausalDyna outperforms state-of-the-art model-based algorithm, MBPO and model-free algorithm, SAC in both sample efficiency by up to 17% and generalization by up to 30%. Code will be made publicly available.
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