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Environment Generalization in Deep Reinforcement Learning

Wenxuan Zhou
Master's Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-19-59, July, 2019

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A key challenge in deep reinforcement learning (RL) is environment generalization: a policy trained to solve a task in one environment often fails to solve the same task in a slightly different test environment. In this work, we propose the “Environment-Probing” Interaction (EPI) policy, which allows the agent to probe a new environment to extract an implicit understanding of that environment’s behavior. Once this environment-specific information is obtained, it is used as an additional input to a task-specific policy that can now perform environment-conditioned actions to solve a task. To learn these EPI-policies, we present a reward function based on transition predictability. Specifically, a higher reward is given if the trajectory generated by the EPI-policy can be used to better predict transitions. We experimentally show that EPI-conditioned task-specific policies significantly outperform commonly used environment generalization methods on novel testing environments.

author = {Wenxuan Zhou},
title = {Environment Generalization in Deep Reinforcement Learning},
year = {2019},
month = {July},
school = {},
address = {Pittsburgh, PA},
number = {CMU-RI-TR-19-59},
keywords = {Reinforcement Learning; Robot Learning; System Identification; Domain Adaptation;},
} 2019-07-26T14:16:10-04:00