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Fast Adaptation to New Environments via Policy-Dynamics Value Functions

Roberta Raileanu · Max Goldstein · Arthur Szlam · Facebook Rob Fergus


Keywords: [ Deep Reinforcement Learning ] [ Representation Learning ] [ Transfer and Multitask Learning ] [ Meta-learning and Automated ML ] [ Reinforcement Learning - Deep RL ]


Standard RL algorithms assume fixed environment dynamics and require a significant amount of interaction to adapt to new environments. We introduce Policy-Dynamics Value Functions (PD-VF), a novel approach for rapidly adapting to dynamics different from those previously seen in training. PD-VF explicitly estimates the cumulative reward in a space of policies and environments. An ensemble of conventional RL policies is used to gather experience on training environments, from which embeddings of both policies and environments can be learned. Then, a value function conditioned on both embeddings is trained. At test time, a few actions are sufficient to infer the environment embedding, enabling a policy to be selected by maximizing the learned value function (which requires no additional environment interaction). We show that our method can rapidly adapt to new dynamics on a set of MuJoCo domains.

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