Deep Reinforcement Learning with Smooth Policy

Jul 12, 2020

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Deep neural networks have been widely adopted in modern reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms with great empirical successes in various domains. However, the large search space of training a neural network requires a significant amount of data, which makes the current RL algorithms not sample efficient. Motivated by the fact that many environments with continuous state space have smooth transitions, we propose to learn a smooth policy that behaves smoothly with respect to the state. In contrast to policy parameterized by linear/reproducing kernel functions, where simple regularization techniques suffice to control smoothness, for neural network based reinforcement learning algorithms, there is no readily available solution to learn a smooth policy. In this paper, we develop a new training framework — Smooth Regularized Reinforcement Learning (SR^2L), where the policy is trained with smoothness-inducing regularization. Such regularization effectively constrains the search space of the learning algorithms and enforces smoothness in the learned policy. We apply the proposed framework to both on-policy (TRPO) and off-policy algorithm (DDPG). Through extensive experiments, we demonstrate that our method achieves improved sample efficiency.

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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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