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Automatic Data Augmentation for Generalization in Reinforcement Learning
Roberta Raileanu · Maxwell Goldstein · Denis Yarats · Ilya Kostrikov · Rob Fergus

Thu Dec 09 12:30 AM -- 02:00 AM (PST) @

Deep reinforcement learning (RL) agents often fail to generalize beyond their training environments. To alleviate this problem, recent work has proposed the use of data augmentation. However, different tasks tend to benefit from different types of augmentations and selecting the right one typically requires expert knowledge. In this paper, we introduce three approaches for automatically finding an effective augmentation for any RL task. These are combined with two novel regularization terms for the policy and value function, required to make the use of data augmentation theoretically sound for actor-critic algorithms. Our method achieves a new state-of-the-art on the Procgen benchmark and outperforms popular RL algorithms on DeepMind Control tasks with distractors. In addition, our agent learns policies and representations which are more robust to changes in the environment that are irrelevant for solving the task, such as the background.

Author Information

Roberta Raileanu (NYU)
Maxwell Goldstein (New York University)
Denis Yarats (New York University)
Ilya Kostrikov (UC Berkeley)
Rob Fergus (DeepMind / NYU)

Rob Fergus is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. He received a Masters in Electrical Engineering with Prof. Pietro Perona at Caltech, before completing a PhD with Prof. Andrew Zisserman at the University of Oxford in 2005. Before coming to NYU, he spent two years as a post-doc in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT, working with Prof. William Freeman. He has received several awards including a CVPR best paper prize, a Sloan Fellowship & NSF Career award and the IEEE Longuet-Higgins prize.

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