Deep exploration by novelty-pursuit with maximum state entropy

25 Sep 2019  ·  Zi-Niu Li, Xiong-Hui Chen, Yang Yu ·

Efficient exploration is essential to reinforcement learning in huge state space. Recent approaches to address this issue include the intrinsically motivated goal exploration process (IMGEP) and the maximum state entropy exploration (MSEE). In this paper, we disclose that goal-conditioned exploration behaviors in IMGEP can also maximize the state entropy, which bridges the IMGEP and the MSEE. From this connection, we propose a maximum entropy criterion for goal selection in goal-conditioned exploration, which results in the new exploration method novelty-pursuit. Novelty-pursuit performs the exploration in two stages: first, it selects a goal for the goal-conditioned exploration policy to reach the boundary of the explored region; then, it takes random actions to explore the non-explored region. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in environments from simple maze environments, Mujoco tasks, to the long-horizon video game of SuperMarioBros. Experiment results show that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches that use curiosity-driven exploration.

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