Regularizing Trajectory Optimization with Denoising Autoencoders

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Rinu Boney, Norman Di Palo, Mathias Berglund, Alexander Ilin, Juho Kannala, Antti Rasmus, Harri Valpola


Trajectory optimization using a learned model of the environment is one of the core elements of model-based reinforcement learning. This procedure often suffers from exploiting inaccuracies of the learned model. We propose to regularize trajectory optimization by means of a denoising autoencoder that is trained on the same trajectories as the model of the environment. We show that the proposed regularization leads to improved planning with both gradient-based and gradient-free optimizers. We also demonstrate that using regularized trajectory optimization leads to rapid initial learning in a set of popular motor control tasks, which suggests that the proposed approach can be a useful tool for improving sample efficiency.