Bidirectional Model-based Policy Optimization

Jul 12, 2020



Model-based reinforcement learning approaches leverage a forward dynamics model to support planning and decision making, which, however, may fail catastrophically if the model is inaccurate. Although there are several existing methods dedicated to combating the model error, the potential of the single forward model is still limited. In this paper, we propose to additionally construct a backward dynamics model to reduce the reliance on accuracy in forward model predictions. We develop a novel method, called Bidirectional Model-based Policy Optimization (BMPO) to utilize both the forward model and backward model to generate short branched rollouts for policy optimization. Furthermore, we theoretically derive a tighter bound of return discrepancy, which shows the superiority of BMPO against the one using merely the forward model. Extensive experiments demonstrate that BMPO outperforms state-of-the-art model-based methods in terms of sample efficiency and asymptotic performance.



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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