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Poster
Skew-Fit: State-Covering Self-Supervised Reinforcement Learning
Vitchyr Pong · Murtaza Dalal · Steven Lin · Ashvin Nair · Shikhar Bahl · Sergey Levine

Thu Jul 16 06:00 AM -- 06:45 AM & Thu Jul 16 05:00 PM -- 05:45 PM (PDT) @ None #None

Autonomous agents that must exhibit flexible and broad capabilities will need to be equipped with large repertoires of skills. Defining each skill with a manually-designed reward function limits this repertoire and imposes a manual engineering burden. Self-supervised agents that set their own goals can automate this process, but designing appropriate goal setting objectives can be difficult, and often involves heuristic design decisions. In this paper, we propose a formal exploration objective for goal-reaching policies that maximizes state coverage. We show that this objective is equivalent to maximizing goal reaching performance together with the entropy of the goal distribution, where goals correspond to full state observations. To instantiate this principle, we present an algorithm called Skew-Fit for learning a maximum-entropy goal distributions. We prove that, under regularity conditions, Skew-Fit converges to a uniform distribution over the set of valid states, even when we do not know this set beforehand. Our experiments show that combining Skew-Fit for learning goal distributions with existing goal-reaching methods outperforms a variety of prior methods on open-sourced visual goal-reaching tasks. Moreover, we demonstrate that Skew-Fit enables a real-world robot to learn to open a door, entirely from scratch, from pixels, and without any manually-designed reward function.

Author Information

Vitchyr Pong (UC Berkeley)
Murtaza Dalal (UC Berkeley)
Steven Lin (UC Berkeley)
Ashvin Nair (UC Berkeley)
Shikhar Bahl (Carnegie Mellon University)
Sergey Levine (UC 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.

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