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BATS: Best Action Trajectory Stitching
Ian Char · Viraj Mehta · Adam Villaflor · John Dolan · Jeff Schneider

The problem of offline reinforcement learning focuses on learning a good policy from a log of environment interactions. Past efforts for developing algorithms in this area have revolved around introducing constraints to online reinforcement algorithms to ensure the actions of the learned policy are constrained to the logged data. In this work, we explore an alternative approach by planning on the fixed dataset directly. Specifically, we introduce an algorithm which forms a tabular Markov Decision Process (MDP) over the logged data by adding new transitions to the dataset. We do this by using learned dynamics models to plan short trajectories between states. Since exact value iteration can be performed on this constructed MDP, it becomes easy to identify which trajectories are advantageous to add to the MDP. Crucially, since most transitions in this MDP come from the logged data, trajectories from the MDP can be rolled out for long periods with confidence. We prove that this property allows one to make upper and lower bounds on the value function up to appropriate distance metrics. Finally, we demonstrate empirically how algorithms that uniformly constrain the learned policy to the entire dataset can result in unwanted behavior, and we show an example in which simply behavior cloning the optimal policy of the MDP created by our algorithm avoids this problem.

Author Information

Ian Char (Carnegie Mellon University)
Viraj Mehta (Carnegie Mellon University)
Adam Villaflor (Carnegie Mellon University)
John Dolan (Carnegie Mellon University)
Jeff Schneider (CMU)

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