Goal-conditioned Imitation Learning

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

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Yiming Ding, Carlos Florensa, Pieter Abbeel, Mariano Phielipp


<p>Designing rewards for Reinforcement Learning (RL) is challenging because it needs to convey the desired task, be efficient to optimize, and be easy to compute. The latter is particularly problematic when applying RL to robotics, where detecting whether the desired configuration is reached might require considerable supervision and instrumentation. Furthermore, we are often interested in being able to reach a wide range of configurations, hence setting up a different reward every time might be unpractical. Methods like Hindsight Experience Replay (HER) have recently shown promise to learn policies able to reach many goals, without the need of a reward. Unfortunately, without tricks like resetting to points along the trajectory, HER might require many samples to discover how to reach certain areas of the state-space. In this work we propose a novel algorithm goalGAIL, which incorporates demonstrations to drastically speed up the convergence to a policy able to reach any goal, surpassing the performance of an agent trained with other Imitation Learning algorithms. Furthermore, we show our method can also be used when the available expert trajectories do not contain the actions or when the expert is suboptimal, which makes it applicable when only kinesthetic, third person or noisy demonstration is available.</p>