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Offline Meta-Reinforcement Learning with Advantage Weighting
Eric Mitchell · Rafael Rafailov · Xue Bin Peng · Sergey Levine · Chelsea Finn

Thu Jul 22 09:00 PM -- 11:00 PM (PDT) @

This paper introduces the offline meta-reinforcement learning (offline meta-RL) problem setting and proposes an algorithm that performs well in this setting. Offline meta-RL is analogous to the widely successful supervised learning strategy of pre-training a model on a large batch of fixed, pre-collected data (possibly from various tasks) and fine-tuning the model to a new task with relatively little data. That is, in offline meta-RL, we meta-train on fixed, pre-collected data from several tasks and adapt to a new task with a very small amount (less than 5 trajectories) of data from the new task. By nature of being offline, algorithms for offline meta-RL can utilize the largest possible pool of training data available and eliminate potentially unsafe or costly data collection during meta-training. This setting inherits the challenges of offline RL, but it differs significantly because offline RL does not generally consider a) transfer to new tasks or b) limited data from the test task, both of which we face in offline meta-RL. Targeting the offline meta-RL setting, we propose Meta-Actor Critic with Advantage Weighting (MACAW). MACAW is an optimization-based meta-learning algorithm that uses simple, supervised regression objectives for both the inner and outer loop of meta-training. On offline variants of common meta-RL benchmarks, we empirically find that this approach enables fully offline meta-reinforcement learning and achieves notable gains over prior methods.

Author Information

Eric Mitchell (Stanford)
Rafael Rafailov (Stanford University)
Xue Bin Peng (UC Berkeley)
Sergey Levine (University of California, Berkeley)
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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