Intelligent creatures can explore their environments and learn useful skills without supervision. In this paper, we propose DIAYN ('Diversity is All You Need'), a method for learning useful skills without a reward function. Our proposed method learns skills by maximizing an information theoretic objective using a maximum entropy policy. On a variety of simulated robotic tasks, we show that this simple objective results in the unsupervised emergence of diverse skills, such as walking and jumping. In a number of reinforcement learning benchmark environments, our method is able to learn a skill that solves the benchmark task despite never receiving the true task reward. We show how pretrained skills can provide a good parameter initialization for downstream tasks, and can be composed hierarchically to solve complex, sparse reward tasks. Our results suggest that unsupervised discovery of skills can serve as an effective pretraining mechanism for overcoming challenges of exploration and data efficiency in reinforcement learning.
Dealing with sparse rewards is a longstanding challenge in reinforcement learning. The recent use of hindsight methods have achieved success on a variety of sparse-reward tasks, but they fail on complex tasks such as stacking multiple blocks with a robot arm in simulation. Curiosity-driven exploration using the prediction error of a learned dynamics model as an intrinsic reward has been shown to be effective for exploring a number of sparse-reward environments. We present a method that combines hindsight with curiosity-driven exploration and curriculum learning in order to solve the challenging sparse-reward block stacking task. We are the first to stack more than two blocks using only sparse reward without human demonstrations.
We introduce an exploration bonus for deep reinforcement learning methods that is easy to implement and adds minimal overhead to the computation performed. The bonus is the error of a neural network predicting features of the observations given by a fixed randomly initialized neural network. We also introduce a method to flexibly combine intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. We find that the random network distillation (RND) bonus combined with this increased flexibility enables significant progress on several hard exploration Atari games. In particular we establish state of the art performance on Montezuma's Revenge, a game famously difficult for deep reinforcement learning methods. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first method that achieves better than average human performance on this game without using demonstrations or having access to the underlying state of the game, and occasionally completes the first level.
This paper proposes a new reinforcement learning (RL) algorithm that enhances exploration by amplifying the imitation effect (AIE). This algorithm consists of self-imitation learning and random network distillation algorithms. We argue that these two algorithms complement each other and that combining these two algorithms can amplify the imitation effect for exploration. In addition, by adding an intrinsic penalty reward to the state that the RL agent frequently visits and using replay memory for learning the feature state when using an exploration bonus, the proposed approach leads to deep exploration and deviates from the current converged policy. We verified the exploration performance of the algorithm through experiments in a two-dimensional grid environment. In addition, we applied the algorithm to a simulated environment of unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) mission execution, and the empirical results show that AIE is very effective for finding the UCAV's shortest flight path to avoid an enemy's missiles.
The recently proposed distributional approach to reinforcement learning (DiRL) is centered on learning the distribution of the reward-to-go, often referred to as the value distribution. In this work, we show that the distributional Bellman equation, which drives DiRL methods, is equivalent to a generative adversarial network (GAN) model. In this formulation, DiRL can be seen as learning a deep generative model of the value distribution, driven by the discrepancy between the distribution of the current value, and the distribution of the sum of current reward and next value. We use this insight to propose a GAN-based approach to DiRL, which leverages the strengths of GANs in learning distributions of high-dimensional data. In particular, we show that our GAN approach can be used for DiRL with multivariate rewards, an important setting which cannot be tackled with prior methods. The multivariate setting also allows us to unify learning the distribution of values and state transitions, and we exploit this idea to devise a novel exploration method that is driven by the discrepancy in estimating both values and states.