Vision-based Navigation Using Deep Reinforcement Learning

Kulhánek, Jonáš, Derner, Erik, de Bruin, Tim, Babuška, Robert

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence 

Jon a ˇ s Kulh anek 1, Erik Derner 2, Tim de Bruin 1, and Robert Babu ˇ ska 3 Abstract -- Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has been successfully applied to a variety of game-like environments. However, the application of deep RL to visual navigation with realistic environments is a challenging task. We propose a novel learning architecture capable of navigating an agent, e.g. a mobile robot, to a target given by an image. T o achieve this, we have extended the batched A2C algorithm with auxiliary tasks designed to improve visual navigation performance. We propose three additional auxiliary tasks: predicting the segmentation of the observation image and of the target image and predicting the depth-map. These tasks enable the use of supervised learning to pre-train a large part of the network and to reduce the number of training steps substantially. The training performance has been further improved by increasing the environment complexity gradually over time. An efficient neural network structure is proposed, which is capable of learning for multiple targets in multiple environments. Our method navigates in continuous state spaces and on the AI2-THOR environment simulator outperforms state-of-the-art goal-oriented visual navigation methods from the literature. I NTRODUCTION Visual navigation is the problem of navigating an agent, e.g. a mobile robot, in an environment using camera input only. The agent is given a target image (an image it will see from the target position), and its goal is to move from its current position to the target by applying a sequence of actions, based on the camera observations only.

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