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Offline Meta Reinforcement Learning with In-Distribution Online Adaptation

Jianhao Wang · Jin Zhang · Haozhe Jiang · Junyu Zhang · Liwei Wang · Chongjie Zhang

Exhibit Hall 1 #507
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Recent offline meta-reinforcement learning (meta-RL) methods typically utilize task-dependent behavior policies (e.g., training RL agents on each individual task) to collect a multi-task dataset. However, these methods always require extra information for fast adaptation, such as offline context for testing tasks. To address this problem, we first formally characterize a unique challenge in offline meta-RL: transition-reward distribution shift between offline datasets and online adaptation. Our theory finds that out-of-distribution adaptation episodes may lead to unreliable policy evaluation and that online adaptation with in-distribution episodes can ensure adaptation performance guarantee. Based on these theoretical insights, we propose a novel adaptation framework, called In-Distribution online Adaptation with uncertainty Quantification (IDAQ), which generates in-distribution context using a given uncertainty quantification and performs effective task belief inference to address new tasks. We find a return-based uncertainty quantification for IDAQ that performs effectively. Experiments show that IDAQ achieves state-of-the-art performance on the Meta-World ML1 benchmark compared to baselines with/without offline adaptation.

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