Goal-conditioned Offline Planning from Curious Exploration

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Marco Bagatella, Georg Martius


Curiosity has established itself as a powerful exploration strategy in deep reinforcement learning. Notably, leveraging expected future novelty as intrinsic motivation has been shown to efficiently generate exploratory trajectories, as well as a robust dynamics model. We consider the challenge of extracting goal-conditioned behavior from the products of such unsupervised exploration techniques, without any additional environment interaction. We find that conventional goal-conditioned reinforcement learning approaches for extracting a value function and policy fall short in this difficult offline setting. By analyzing the geometry of optimal goal-conditioned value functions, we relate this issue to a specific class of estimation artifacts in learned values. In order to mitigate their occurrence, we propose to combine model-based planning over learned value landscapes with a graph-based value aggregation scheme. We show how this combination can correct both local and global artifacts, obtaining significant improvements in zero-shot goal-reaching performance across diverse simulated environments.