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Workshop: Deep Reinforcement Learning


Izzeddin Gur · Ofir Nachum · Aleksandra Faust


In reinforcement learning (RL) the use of simulators is ubiquitous, allowing cheaper and safer agent training than training directly in the real target environment. However, this approach relies on the simulator being a sufficiently accurate reflection of the target environment, which is difficult to achieve in practice. Accordingly, recent methods have proposed an alternative paradigm, utilizing offline datasets from the target environment to train an agent, avoiding online access to either the target or any simulated environment but leading to poor generalization outside the support of the offline data. Here, we propose to combine these two paradigms to leverage both offline datasets and synthetic simulators. We formalize our approach as offline targeted environment design(OTED), which automatically learns a distribution over simulator parameters to match a provided offline dataset, and then uses the learned simulator to train an RL agent in standard online fashion. We derive an objective for learning the simulator parameters which corresponds to minimizing a divergence between the target offline dataset and the state-action distribution induced by the simulator. We evaluate our method on standard offlineRL benchmarks and show that it yields impressive results compared to existing approaches, thus successfully leveraging both offline datasets and simulators for better RL.

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