Dreaming: Model-based Reinforcement Learning by Latent Imagination without Reconstruction

29 Jul 2020  ·  Masashi Okada, Tadahiro Taniguchi ·

In the present paper, we propose a decoder-free extension of Dreamer, a leading model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL) method from pixels. Dreamer is a sample- and cost-efficient solution to robot learning, as it is used to train latent state-space models based on a variational autoencoder and to conduct policy optimization by latent trajectory imagination. However, this autoencoding based approach often causes object vanishing, in which the autoencoder fails to perceives key objects for solving control tasks, and thus significantly limiting Dreamer's potential. This work aims to relieve this Dreamer's bottleneck and enhance its performance by means of removing the decoder. For this purpose, we firstly derive a likelihood-free and InfoMax objective of contrastive learning from the evidence lower bound of Dreamer. Secondly, we incorporate two components, (i) independent linear dynamics and (ii) the random crop data augmentation, to the learning scheme so as to improve the training performance. In comparison to Dreamer and other recent model-free reinforcement learning methods, our newly devised Dreamer with InfoMax and without generative decoder (Dreaming) achieves the best scores on 5 difficult simulated robotics tasks, in which Dreamer suffers from object vanishing.

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