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Universal Planning Networks: Learning Generalizable Representations for Visuomotor Control
Aravind Srinivas · Allan Jabri · Pieter Abbeel · Sergey Levine · Chelsea Finn

Wed Jul 11 09:15 AM -- 12:00 PM (PDT) @ Hall B #106

A key challenge in complex visuomotor control is learning abstract representations that are effective for specifying goals, planning, and generalization. To this end, we introduce universal planning networks (UPN). UPNs embed differentiable planning within a goal-directed policy. This planning computation unrolls a forward model in a latent space and infers an optimal action plan through gradient descent trajectory optimization. The plan-by-gradient-descent process and its underlying representations are learned end-to-end to directly optimize a supervised imitation learning objective. We find that the representations learned are not only effective for goal-directed visual imitation via gradient-based trajectory optimization, but can also provide a metric for specifying goals using images. The learned representations can be leveraged to specify distance-based rewards to reach new target states for model-free reinforcement learning, resulting in substantially more effective learning when solving new tasks described via image based goals. We were able to achieve successful transfer of visuomotor planning strategies across robots with significantly different morphologies and actuation capabilities. Visit https://sites.google. com/view/upn-public/home for video highlights.

Author Information

Aravind Srinivas (UC Berkeley)
Allan Jabri (UC Berkeley)
Pieter Abbeel (OpenAI / UC Berkeley)
Sergey Levine (Berkeley)
Sergey Levine

Sergey Levine received a BS and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2009, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2014. He joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley in fall 2016. His work focuses on machine learning for decision making and control, with an emphasis on deep learning and reinforcement learning algorithms. Applications of his work include autonomous robots and vehicles, as well as computer vision and graphics. His research includes developing algorithms for end-to-end training of deep neural network policies that combine perception and control, scalable algorithms for inverse reinforcement learning, deep reinforcement learning algorithms, and more.

Chelsea Finn (Stanford, Google, UC Berkeley)
Chelsea Finn

Chelsea Finn is a research scientist at Google Brain and a post-doctoral scholar at UC Berkeley. In September 2019, she will be joining Stanford's computer science department as an assistant professor. Finn's research interests lie in the ability to enable robots and other agents to develop broadly intelligent behavior through learning and interaction. To this end, Finn has developed deep learning algorithms for concurrently learning visual perception and control in robotic manipulation skills, inverse reinforcement methods for scalable acquisition of nonlinear reward functions, and meta-learning algorithms that can enable fast, few-shot adaptation in both visual perception and deep reinforcement learning. Finn received her Bachelors degree in EECS at MIT, and her PhD in CS at UC Berkeley. Her research has been recognized through an NSF graduate fellowship, a Facebook fellowship, the C.V. Ramamoorthy Distinguished Research Award, and the MIT Technology Review 35 under 35 Award, and her work has been covered by various media outlets, including the New York Times, Wired, and Bloomberg.

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