Invariant Causal Prediction for Block MDPs

Jul 12, 2020



Generalization across environments is critical to the successful application of reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms to real-world challenges. In this work we propose a method for learning state abstractions which generalize to novel observation distributions in the multi-environment RL setting. We prove that for certain classes of environments, this approach outputs, with high probability, a state abstraction corresponding to the causal feature set with respect to the return. We give empirical evidence that analogous methods for the nonlinear setting can also attain improved generalization over single- and multi-task baselines. Lastly, we provide bounds on model generalization error in the multi-environment setting, in the process showing a connection between causal variable identification and the state abstraction framework for MDPs.



About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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