Receding Horizon Inverse Reinforcement Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yiqing Xu, Wei Gao, David Hsu


Inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) seeks to infer a cost function that explains the underlying goals and preferences of expert demonstrations. This paper presents Receding Horizon Inverse Reinforcement Learning (RHIRL), a new IRL algorithm for high-dimensional, noisy, continuous systems with black-box dynamic models. RHIRL addresses two key challenges of IRL: scalability and robustness. To handle high-dimensional continuous systems, RHIRL matches the induced optimal trajectories with expert demonstrations locally in a receding horizon manner and stitches'' together the local solutions to learn the cost; it thereby avoids thecurse of dimensionality''. This contrasts sharply with earlier algorithms that match with expert demonstrations globally over the entire high-dimensional state space. To be robust against imperfect expert demonstrations and control noise, RHIRL learns a state-dependent cost function ``disentangled'' from system dynamics under mild conditions. Experiments on benchmark tasks show that RHIRL outperforms several leading IRL algorithms in most instances. We also prove that the cumulative error of RHIRL grows linearly with the task duration.