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Go Beyond Imagination: Maximizing Episodic Reachability with World Models

Yao Fu · Run Peng · Honglak Lee

Exhibit Hall 1 #412


Efficient exploration is a challenging topic in reinforcement learning, especially for sparse reward tasks. To deal with the reward sparsity, people commonly apply intrinsic rewards to motivate agents to explore the state space efficiently. In this paper, we introduce a new intrinsic reward design called GoBI - Go Beyond Imagination, which combines the traditional lifelong novelty motivation with an episodic intrinsic reward that is designed to maximize the stepwise reachability expansion. More specifically, we apply learned world models to generate predicted future states with random actions. States with more unique predictions that are not in episodic memory are assigned high intrinsic rewards. Our method greatly outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods on 12 of the most challenging Minigrid navigation tasks and improves the sample efficiency on locomotion tasks from DeepMind Control Suite.

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