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Goal-Aware Prediction: Learning to Model What Matters
Suraj Nair · Silvio Savarese · Chelsea Finn

Thu Jul 16 07:00 AM -- 07:45 AM & Thu Jul 16 06:00 PM -- 06:45 PM (PDT) @ None #None

Learned dynamics models combined with both planning and policy learning algorithms have shown promise in enabling artificial agents to learn to perform many diverse tasks with limited supervision. However, one of the fundamental challenges in using a learned forward dynamics model is the mismatch between the objective of the learned model (future state reconstruction), and that of the downstream planner or policy (completing a specified task). This issue is exacerbated by vision-based control tasks in diverse real-world environments, where the complexity of the real world dwarfs model capacity. In this paper, we propose to direct prediction towards task relevant information, enabling the model to be aware of the current task and encouraging it to only model relevant quantities of the state space, resulting in a learning objective that more closely matches the downstream task. Further, we do so in an entirely self-supervised manner, without the need for a reward function or image labels. We find that our method more effectively models the relevant parts of the scene conditioned on the goal, and as a result outperforms standard task-agnostic dynamics models and model-free reinforcement learning.

Author Information

Suraj Nair (Stanford University)
Silvio Savarese (Stanford University)
Chelsea Finn (Stanford)

Chelsea Finn is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. Finn's research interests lie in the capability of robots and other agents to develop broadly intelligent behavior through learning and interaction. To this end, her work has included deep learning algorithms for concurrently learning visual perception and control in robotic manipulation skills, inverse reinforcement methods for learning reward functions underlying behavior, and meta-learning algorithms that can enable fast, few-shot adaptation in both visual perception and deep reinforcement learning. Finn received her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and her PhD in Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Her research has been recognized through the ACM doctoral dissertation award, the Microsoft Research Faculty 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. Throughout her career, she has sought to increase the representation of underrepresented minorities within CS and AI by developing an AI outreach camp at Berkeley for underprivileged high school students, a mentoring program for underrepresented undergraduates across four universities, and leading efforts within the WiML and Berkeley WiCSE communities of women researchers.

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