Timezone: »

Selective Dyna-style Planning Under Limited Model Capacity
Zaheer Abbas · Samuel Sokota · Erin Talvitie · Martha White

Tue Jul 14 10:00 AM -- 10:45 AM & Tue Jul 14 11:00 PM -- 11:45 PM (PDT) @

In model-based reinforcement learning, planning with an imperfect model of the environment has the potential to harm learning progress. But even when a model is imperfect, it may still contain information that is useful for planning. In this paper, we investigate the idea of using an imperfect model selectively. The agent should plan in parts of the state space where the model would be helpful but refrain from using the model where it would be harmful. An effective selective planning mechanism requires estimating predictive uncertainty, which arises out of aleatoric uncertainty, parameter uncertainty, and model inadequacy, among other sources. Prior work has focused on parameter uncertainty for selective planning. In this work, we emphasize the importance of model inadequacy. We show that heteroscedastic regression can signal predictive uncertainty arising from model inadequacy that is complementary to that which is detected by methods designed for parameter uncertainty, indicating that considering both parameter uncertainty and model inadequacy may be a more promising direction for effective selective planning than either in isolation.

Author Information

Zaheer Abbas (University of Alberta)
Samuel Sokota (University of Alberta)
Erin Talvitie (Harvey Mudd College)

Erin Talvitie is an associate professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2004 with majors in Computer Science and Mathematics and received her Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Michigan in 2010. She was a founding member of the Department of Computer Science at Franklin & Marshall College before moving on to Harvey Mudd College in 2019. Her research interests focus on model-based reinforcement learning -- specifically scaling model-based approaches up to complex, high-dimensional problems -- with he aim of working toward artificial autonomous agents that can learn to act flexibly and competently in unknown environments. She is the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER grant, outstanding reviewer awards from AAAI and NeurIPS, a best paper nomination from AAMAS, and a best paper award from RLDM.

Martha White (University of Alberta)

More from the Same Authors