Overcoming Model Bias for Robust Offline Deep Reinforcement Learning [article]

Phillip Swazinna, Steffen Udluft, Thomas Runkler
2021 arXiv   pre-print
State-of-the-art reinforcement learning algorithms mostly rely on being allowed to directly interact with their environment to collect millions of observations. This makes it hard to transfer their success to industrial control problems, where simulations are often very costly or do not exist, and exploring in the real environment can potentially lead to catastrophic events. Recently developed, model-free, offline RL algorithms, can learn from a single dataset (containing limited exploration)
more » ... mitigating extrapolation error in value functions. However, the robustness of the training process is still comparatively low, a problem known from methods using value functions. To improve robustness and stability of the learning process, we use dynamics models to assess policy performance instead of value functions, resulting in MOOSE (MOdel-based Offline policy Search with Ensembles), an algorithm which ensures low model bias by keeping the policy within the support of the data. We compare MOOSE with state-of-the-art model-free, offline RL algorithms BRAC, BEAR and BCQ on the Industrial Benchmark and MuJoCo continuous control tasks in terms of robust performance, and find that MOOSE outperforms its model-free counterparts in almost all considered cases, often even by far.
arXiv:2008.05533v4 fatcat:r2dw73ki7jdklarbxtsjvxdd2e