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Workshop: Deep Reinforcement Learning

DreamerPro: Reconstruction-Free Model-Based Reinforcement Learning with Prototypical Representations

Fei Deng · Ingook Jang · Sungjin Ahn


Top-performing Model-Based Reinforcement Learning (MBRL) agents, such as Dreamer, learn the world model by reconstructing the image observations. Hence, they often fail to discard task-irrelevant details and struggle to handle visual distractions. To address this issue, previous work has proposed to contrastively learn the world model, but the performance tends to be inferior in the absence of distractions. In this paper, we seek to enhance robustness to distractions for MBRL agents by learning better representations in the world model. For this, prototypical representations seem to be a good candidate, as they have yielded more accurate and robust results than contrastive approaches in computer vision. However, it remains elusive how prototypical representations can benefit temporal dynamics learning in MBRL, since they treat each image independently without capturing temporal structures. To this end, we propose to learn the prototypes from the recurrent states of the world model, thereby distilling temporal structures from past observations and actions into the prototypes. The resulting model, DreamerPro, successfully combines Dreamer with prototypes, making large performance gains on the DeepMind Control suite both in the standard setting and when there are complex background distractions.

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