Kinematic State Abstraction and Provably Efficient Rich-Observation Reinforcement Learning

Jul 12, 2020

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We present an algorithm, HOMER, for exploration and reinforcement learning in rich observation environments that are summarizable by an unknown latent state space. The algorithm interleaves representation learning to identify a new notion of kinematic state abstraction with strategic exploration to reach new states using the learned abstraction. The algorithm provably explores the environment with sample complexity scaling polynomially in the number of latent states and the time horizon, and, crucially, with no dependence on the size of the observation space, which could be infinitely large. This exploration guarantee further enables sample-efficient global policy optimization for any reward function. On the computational side, we show that the algorithm can be implemented efficiently whenever certain supervised learning problems are tractable. Empirically, we evaluate HOMER on a challenging exploration problem, where we show that the algorithm is more sample efficient than standard reinforcement learning baselines.

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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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