Offline Imitation Learning with a Misspecified Simulator

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

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Shengyi Jiang, Jingcheng Pang, Yang Yu


In real-world decision-making tasks, learning an optimal policy without a trial-and-error process is an appealing challenge. When expert demonstrations are available, imitation learning that mimics expert actions can learn a good policy efficiently. Learning in simulators is another commonly adopted approach to avoid real-world trials-and-errors. However, neither sufficient expert demonstrations nor high-fidelity simulators are easy to obtain. In this work, we investigate policy learning in the condition of a few expert demonstrations and a simulator with misspecified dynamics. Under a mild assumption that local states shall still be partially aligned under a dynamics mismatch, we propose imitation learning with horizon-adaptive inverse dynamics (HIDIL) that matches the simulator states with expert states in a $H$-step horizon and accurately recovers actions based on inverse dynamics policies. In the real environment, HIDIL can effectively derive adapted actions from the matched states. Experiments are conducted in four MuJoCo locomotion environments with modified friction, gravity, and density configurations. Experiment results show that HIDIL achieves significant improvement in terms of performance and stability in all of the real environments, compared with imitation learning methods and transferring methods in reinforcement learning.