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Offline Meta-Reinforcement Learning with Advantage Weighting

Eric Mitchell · Rafael Rafailov · Xue Bin Peng · Sergey Levine · Chelsea Finn

Keywords: [ Algorithms ] [ Multitask, Transfer, and Meta Learning ]


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.

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