Latent World Models For Intrinsically Motivated Exploration

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Aleksandr Ermolov, Nicu Sebe


In this work we consider partially observable environments with sparse rewards. We present a self-supervised representation learning method for image-based observations, which arranges embeddings respecting temporal distance of observations. This representation is empirically robust to stochasticity and suitable for novelty detection from the error of a predictive forward model. We consider episodic and life-long uncertainties to guide the exploration. We propose to estimate the missing information about the environment with the world model, which operates in the learned latent space. As a motivation of the method, we analyse the exploration problem in a tabular Partially Observable Labyrinth. We demonstrate the method on image-based hard exploration environments from the Atari benchmark and report significant improvement with respect to prior work. The source code of the method and all the experiments is available at