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The Importance of Sampling inMeta-Reinforcement Learning
Bradly Stadie · Ge Yang · Rein Houthooft · Peter Chen · Yan Duan · Yuhuai Wu · Pieter Abbeel · Ilya Sutskever

Tue Dec 04 07:45 AM -- 09:45 AM (PST) @ Room 210 #85
We interpret meta-reinforcement learning as the problem of learning how to quickly find a good sampling distribution in a new environment. This interpretation leads to the development of two new meta-reinforcement learning algorithms: E-MAML and E-$\text{RL}^2$. Results are presented on a new environment we call `Krazy World': a difficult high-dimensional gridworld which is designed to highlight the importance of correctly differentiating through sampling distributions in meta-reinforcement learning. Further results are presented on a set of maze environments. We show E-MAML and E-$\text{RL}^2$ deliver better performance than baseline algorithms on both tasks.

Author Information

Bradly Stadie (Vector Institute)
Ge Yang (Berkeley)
Rein Houthooft (Happy Elements)
Peter Chen (covariant.ai)
Yan Duan (UC Berkeley)
Yuhuai Wu (University of Toronto)
Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley | Gradescope | Covariant)

Pieter Abbeel is Professor and Director of the Robot Learning Lab at UC Berkeley [2008- ], Co-Director of the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, Co-Founder of covariant.ai [2017- ], Co-Founder of Gradescope [2014- ], Advisor to OpenAI, Founding Faculty Partner AI@TheHouse venture fund, Advisor to many AI/Robotics start-ups. He works in machine learning and robotics. In particular his research focuses on making robots learn from people (apprenticeship learning), how to make robots learn through their own trial and error (reinforcement learning), and how to speed up skill acquisition through learning-to-learn (meta-learning). His robots have learned advanced helicopter aerobatics, knot-tying, basic assembly, organizing laundry, locomotion, and vision-based robotic manipulation. He has won numerous awards, including best paper awards at ICML, NIPS and ICRA, early career awards from NSF, Darpa, ONR, AFOSR, Sloan, TR35, IEEE, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Pieter's work is frequently featured in the popular press, including New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, Tech Review, NPR.

Ilya Sutskever (OpenAI)

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