Composing Meta-Policies for Autonomous Driving Using Hierarchical Deep Reinforcement Learning [article]

Richard Liaw, Sanjay Krishnan, Animesh Garg, Daniel Crankshaw, Joseph E. Gonzalez, Ken Goldberg
<span title="2017-11-04">2017</span> <i > arXiv </i> &nbsp; <span class="release-stage" >pre-print</span>
Rather than learning new control policies for each new task, it is possible, when tasks share some structure, to compose a "meta-policy" from previously learned policies. This paper reports results from experiments using Deep Reinforcement Learning on a continuous-state, discrete-action autonomous driving simulator. We explore how Deep Neural Networks can represent meta-policies that switch among a set of previously learned policies, specifically in settings where the dynamics of a new scenario
more &raquo; ... are composed of a mixture of previously learned dynamics and where the state observation is possibly corrupted by sensing noise. We also report the results of experiments varying dynamics mixes, distractor policies, magnitudes/distributions of sensing noise, and obstacles. In a fully observed experiment, the meta-policy learning algorithm achieves 2.6x the reward achieved by the next best policy composition technique with 80% less exploration. In a partially observed experiment, the meta-policy learning algorithm converges after 50 iterations while a direct application of RL fails to converge even after 200 iterations.
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