Mask-based Latent Reconstruction for Reinforcement Learning

For deep reinforcement learning (RL) from pixels, learning effective state representations is crucial for achieving high performance. However, in practice, limited experience and high-dimensional input prevent effective representation learning. To address this, motivated by the success of masked modeling in other research fields, we introduce mask-based reconstruction to promote state representation learning in RL. Specifically, we propose a simple yet effective self-supervised method, Mask-based Latent Reconstruction (MLR), to predict the complete state representations in the latent space from the observations with spatially and temporally masked pixels. MLR enables the better use of context information when learning state representations to make them more informative, which facilitates RL agent training. Extensive experiments show that our MLR significantly improves the sample efficiency in RL and outperforms the state-of-the-art sample-efficient RL methods on multiple continuous and discrete control benchmarks. The code will be released soon.

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