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Deep Reinforcement Learning with Smooth Policy

Qianli Shen · Yan Li · Haoming Jiang · Zhaoran Wang · Tuo Zhao

Keywords: [ Deep Reinforcement Learning ] [ Planning and Control ] [ Reinforcement Learning ] [ Semi-supervised learning ] [ Reinforcement Learning - Deep RL ]

Abstract: Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has achieved great empirical successes in various domains. However, the large search space of neural networks requires a large amount of data, which makes the current RL algorithms not sample efficient. Motivated by the fact that many environments with continuous state space have smooth transitions, we propose to learn a smooth policy that behaves smoothly with respect to states. We develop a new framework --- \textbf{S}mooth \textbf{R}egularized \textbf{R}einforcement \textbf{L}earning ($\textbf{SR}^2\textbf{L}$), where the policy is trained with smoothness-inducing regularization. Such regularization effectively constrains the search space, and enforces smoothness in the learned policy. Moreover, our proposed framework can also improve the robustness of policy against measurement error in the state space, and can be naturally extended to distribubutionally robust setting. We apply the proposed framework to both on-policy (TRPO) and off-policy algorithm (DDPG). Through extensive experiments, we demonstrate that our method achieves improved sample efficiency and robustness.

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