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Generalized Hindsight for Reinforcement Learning
Alexander Li · Lerrel Pinto · Pieter Abbeel

Tue Dec 08 09:00 PM -- 11:00 PM (PST) @ Poster Session 2 #615

One of the key reasons for the high sample complexity in reinforcement learning (RL) is the inability to transfer knowledge from one task to another. In standard multi-task RL settings, low-reward data collected while trying to solve one task provides little to no signal for solving that particular task and is hence effectively wasted. However, we argue that this data, which is uninformative for one task, is likely a rich source of information for other tasks. To leverage this insight and efficiently reuse data, we present Generalized Hindsight: an approximate inverse reinforcement learning technique for relabeling behaviors with the right tasks. Intuitively, given a behavior generated under one task, Generalized Hindsight returns a different task that the behavior is better suited for. Then, the behavior is relabeled with this new task before being used by an off-policy RL optimizer. Compared to standard relabeling techniques, Generalized Hindsight provides a substantially more efficient re-use of samples, which we empirically demonstrate on a suite of multi-task navigation and manipulation tasks.

Author Information

Alex Li (UC Berkeley)
Lerrel Pinto (New York University)
Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley & covariant.ai)

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.

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