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Automatic Goal Generation for Reinforcement Learning Agents
Carlos Florensa · David Held · Xinyang Geng · Pieter Abbeel

Wed Jul 11 09:15 AM -- 12:00 PM (PDT) @ Hall B #135

Reinforcement learning (RL) is a powerful technique to train an agent to perform a task; however, an agent that is trained using RL is only capable of achieving the single task that is specified via its reward function. Such an approach does not scale well to settings in which an agent needs to perform a diverse set of tasks, such as navigating to varying positions in a room or moving objects to varying locations. Instead, we propose a method that allows an agent to automatically discover the range of tasks that it is capable of performing in its environment. We use a generator network to propose tasks for the agent to try to accomplish, each task being specified as reaching a certain parametrized subset of the state-space. The generator network is optimized using adversarial training to produce tasks that are always at the appropriate level of difficulty for the agent, thus automatically producing a curriculum. We show that, by using this framework, an agent can efficiently and automatically learn to perform a wide set of tasks without requiring any prior knowledge of its environment, even when only sparse rewards are available. Videos and code available at https://sites.google.com/view/goalgeneration4rl.

Author Information

Carlos Florensa (UC Berkeley)
David Held (Carnegie Mellon University)

David Held is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Robotics Institute. His research focuses on robotic perception for autonomous driving and object manipulation. Prior to coming to CMU, David was a post-doctoral researcher at U.C. Berkeley, and he completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University where he developed methods for perception for autonomous vehicles. David has also worked as an intern on Google’s self-driving car team. David has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. David is a recipient of the Google Faculty Research Award in 2017.

Xinyang Geng (UC Berkeley)
Pieter Abbeel (OpenAI / UC Berkeley)

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