DQN-TAMER: Human-in-the-Loop Reinforcement Learning with Intractable Feedback

28 Oct 2018  ·  Riku Arakawa, Sosuke Kobayashi, Yuya Unno, Yuta Tsuboi, Shin-ichi Maeda ·

Exploration has been one of the greatest challenges in reinforcement learning (RL), which is a large obstacle in the application of RL to robotics. Even with state-of-the-art RL algorithms, building a well-learned agent often requires too many trials, mainly due to the difficulty of matching its actions with rewards in the distant future. A remedy for this is to train an agent with real-time feedback from a human observer who immediately gives rewards for some actions. This study tackles a series of challenges for introducing such a human-in-the-loop RL scheme. The first contribution of this work is our experiments with a precisely modeled human observer: binary, delay, stochasticity, unsustainability, and natural reaction. We also propose an RL method called DQN-TAMER, which efficiently uses both human feedback and distant rewards. We find that DQN-TAMER agents outperform their baselines in Maze and Taxi simulated environments. Furthermore, we demonstrate a real-world human-in-the-loop RL application where a camera automatically recognizes a user's facial expressions as feedback to the agent while the agent explores a maze.

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