Meta-Reinforcement Learning Robust to Distributional Shift via Model Identification and Experience Relabeling

12 Jun 2020  ·  Russell Mendonca, Xinyang Geng, Chelsea Finn, Sergey Levine ·

Reinforcement learning algorithms can acquire policies for complex tasks autonomously. However, the number of samples required to learn a diverse set of skills can be prohibitively large. While meta-reinforcement learning methods have enabled agents to leverage prior experience to adapt quickly to new tasks, their performance depends crucially on how close the new task is to the previously experienced tasks. Current approaches are either not able to extrapolate well, or can do so at the expense of requiring extremely large amounts of data for on-policy meta-training. In this work, we present model identification and experience relabeling (MIER), a meta-reinforcement learning algorithm that is both efficient and extrapolates well when faced with out-of-distribution tasks at test time. Our method is based on a simple insight: we recognize that dynamics models can be adapted efficiently and consistently with off-policy data, more easily than policies and value functions. These dynamics models can then be used to continue training policies and value functions for out-of-distribution tasks without using meta-reinforcement learning at all, by generating synthetic experience for the new task.

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