Oral
Structured agents for physical construction
Victor Bapst · Alvaro Sanchez · Carl Doersch · Kimberly Stachenfeld · Pushmeet Kohli · Peter Battaglia · Jessica Hamrick

Wed Jun 12th 11:40 AM -- 12:00 PM @ Hall B

Physical construction---the ability to compose objects, subject to physical dynamics, in order to serve some function---is fundamental to human intelligence. Here we introduce a suite of challenging physical construction tasks inspired by how children play with blocks, such as matching a target configuration, stacking and attaching blocks to connect objects together, and creating shelter-like structures over target objects. We then examine how a range of modern deep reinforcement learning agents fare on these challenges, and introduce several new approaches which provide superior performance. Our results show that agents which use structured representations (e.g., objects and scene graphs) and structured policies (e.g., object-centric actions) outperform those which use less structured representations, and generalize better beyond their training. Agents which use model-based planning via Monte-Carlo Tree Search also outperform strictly model-free agents in our most challenging construction problems. We conclude that approaches which combine structured representations and reasoning with powerful learning are a key path toward agents that can perform complex construction behaviors.

Author Information

Victor Bapst (Google DeepMind)
Alvaro Sanchez (DeepMind)
Carl Doersch (DeepMind)
Kimberly Stachenfeld (Google)
Pushmeet Kohli (DeepMind)
Peter Battaglia (DeepMind)
Jessica Hamrick (DeepMind)

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