Paper

Inverse reinforcement learning~(IRL) is a powerful framework to infer an agent's reward function by observing its behavior, but IRL algorithms that learn point estimates of the reward function can be misleading because there may be several functions that describe an agent's behavior equally well. A Bayesian approach to IRL models a distribution over candidate reward functions, alleviating the shortcomings of learning a point estimate. However, several Bayesian IRL algorithms use a $Q$-value function in place of the likelihood function. The resulting posterior is computationally intensive to calculate, has few theoretical guarantees, and the $Q$-value function is often a poor approximation for the likelihood. We introduce kernel density Bayesian IRL (KD-BIRL), which uses conditional kernel density estimation to directly approximate the likelihood, providing an efficient framework that, with a modified reward function parameterization, is applicable to environments with complex and infinite state spaces. We demonstrate KD-BIRL's benefits through a series of experiments in Gridworld environments and a simulated sepsis treatment task.

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