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Poster
Model-Value Inconsistency as a Signal for Epistemic Uncertainty
Angelos Filos · Eszter Vértes · Zita Marinho · Gregory Farquhar · Diana Borsa · Abe Friesen · Feryal Behbahani · Tom Schaul · Andre Barreto · Simon Osindero

Wed Jul 20 03:30 PM -- 05:30 PM (PDT) @ Hall E #818

Using a model of the environment and a value function, an agent can construct many estimates of a state’s value, by unrolling the model for different lengths and bootstrapping with its value function. Our key insight is that one can treat this set of value estimates as a type of ensemble, which we call an implicit value ensemble (IVE). Consequently, the discrepancy between these estimates can be used as a proxy for the agent’s epistemic uncertainty; we term this signal model-value inconsistency or self-inconsistency for short. Unlike prior work which estimates uncertainty by training an ensemble of many models and/or value functions, this approach requires only the single model and value function which are already being learned in most model-based reinforcement learning algorithms. We provide empirical evidence in both tabular and function approximation settings from pixels that self-inconsistency is useful (i) as a signal for exploration, (ii) for acting safely under distribution shifts, and (iii) for robustifying value-based planning with a model.

Author Information

Angelos Filos (University of Oxford)
Eszter Vértes (DeepMind)
Zita Marinho (DeepMind)
Gregory Farquhar (DeepMind)
Diana Borsa (DeepMind)
Abe Friesen (DeepMind)
Feryal Behbahani (DeepMind)
Tom Schaul (DeepMind)
Andre Barreto (DeepMind)
Simon Osindero (DeepMind)

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