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Robust Policy Learning over Multiple Uncertainty Sets
Annie Xie · Shagun Sodhani · Chelsea Finn · Joelle Pineau · Amy Zhang

Thu Jul 21 03:00 PM -- 05:00 PM (PDT) @ Hall E #919

Reinforcement learning (RL) agents need to be robust to variations in safety-critical environments. While system identification methods provide a way to infer the variation from online experience, they can fail in settings where fast identification is not possible. Another dominant approach is robust RL which produces a policy that can handle worst-case scenarios, but these methods are generally designed to achieve robustness to a single uncertainty set that must be specified at train time. Towards a more general solution, we formulate the multi-set robustness problem to learn a policy robust to different perturbation sets. We then design an algorithm that enjoys the benefits of both system identification and robust RL: it reduces uncertainty where possible given a few interactions, but can still act robustly with respect to the remaining uncertainty. On a diverse set of control tasks, our approach demonstrates improved worst-case performance on new environments compared to prior methods based on system identification and on robust RL alone.

Author Information

Annie Xie (Stanford University)
Shagun Sodhani (Facebook AI Research)
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.

Joelle Pineau (Facebook)
Amy Zhang (FAIR / UC Berkeley)

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