Marcin Andrychowicz

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  • Multi-Goal Reinforcement Learning: Challenging Robotics Environments and Request for Research

    The purpose of this technical report is two-fold. First of all, it introduces a suite of challenging continuous control tasks (integrated with OpenAI Gym) based on currently existing robotics hardware. The tasks include pushing, sliding and pick & place with a Fetch robotic arm as well as in-hand object manipulation with a Shadow Dexterous Hand. All tasks have sparse binary rewards and follow a Multi-Goal Reinforcement Learning (RL) framework in which an agent is told what to do using an additional input. The second part of the paper presents a set of concrete research ideas for improving RL algorithms, most of which are related to Multi-Goal RL and Hindsight Experience Replay.

    02/26/2018 ∙ by Matthias Plappert, et al. ∙ 2 share

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  • One-Shot Imitation Learning

    Imitation learning has been commonly applied to solve different tasks in isolation. This usually requires either careful feature engineering, or a significant number of samples. This is far from what we desire: ideally, robots should be able to learn from very few demonstrations of any given task, and instantly generalize to new situations of the same task, without requiring task-specific engineering. In this paper, we propose a meta-learning framework for achieving such capability, which we call one-shot imitation learning. Specifically, we consider the setting where there is a very large set of tasks, and each task has many instantiations. For example, a task could be to stack all blocks on a table into a single tower, another task could be to place all blocks on a table into two-block towers, etc. In each case, different instances of the task would consist of different sets of blocks with different initial states. At training time, our algorithm is presented with pairs of demonstrations for a subset of all tasks. A neural net is trained that takes as input one demonstration and the current state (which initially is the initial state of the other demonstration of the pair), and outputs an action with the goal that the resulting sequence of states and actions matches as closely as possible with the second demonstration. At test time, a demonstration of a single instance of a new task is presented, and the neural net is expected to perform well on new instances of this new task. The use of soft attention allows the model to generalize to conditions and tasks unseen in the training data. We anticipate that by training this model on a much greater variety of tasks and settings, we will obtain a general system that can turn any demonstrations into robust policies that can accomplish an overwhelming variety of tasks. Videos available at https://bit.ly/nips2017-oneshot .

    03/21/2017 ∙ by Yan Duan, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Hindsight Experience Replay

    Dealing with sparse rewards is one of the biggest challenges in Reinforcement Learning (RL). We present a novel technique called Hindsight Experience Replay which allows sample-efficient learning from rewards which are sparse and binary and therefore avoid the need for complicated reward engineering. It can be combined with an arbitrary off-policy RL algorithm and may be seen as a form of implicit curriculum. We demonstrate our approach on the task of manipulating objects with a robotic arm. In particular, we run experiments on three different tasks: pushing, sliding, and pick-and-place, in each case using only binary rewards indicating whether or not the task is completed. Our ablation studies show that Hindsight Experience Replay is a crucial ingredient which makes training possible in these challenging environments. We show that our policies trained on a physics simulation can be deployed on a physical robot and successfully complete the task.

    07/05/2017 ∙ by Marcin Andrychowicz, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Learning to learn by gradient descent by gradient descent

    The move from hand-designed features to learned features in machine learning has been wildly successful. In spite of this, optimization algorithms are still designed by hand. In this paper we show how the design of an optimization algorithm can be cast as a learning problem, allowing the algorithm to learn to exploit structure in the problems of interest in an automatic way. Our learned algorithms, implemented by LSTMs, outperform generic, hand-designed competitors on the tasks for which they are trained, and also generalize well to new tasks with similar structure. We demonstrate this on a number of tasks, including simple convex problems, training neural networks, and styling images with neural art.

    06/14/2016 ∙ by Marcin Andrychowicz, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Neural Random-Access Machines

    In this paper, we propose and investigate a new neural network architecture called Neural Random Access Machine. It can manipulate and dereference pointers to an external variable-size random-access memory. The model is trained from pure input-output examples using backpropagation. We evaluate the new model on a number of simple algorithmic tasks whose solutions require pointer manipulation and dereferencing. Our results show that the proposed model can learn to solve algorithmic tasks of such type and is capable of operating on simple data structures like linked-lists and binary trees. For easier tasks, the learned solutions generalize to sequences of arbitrary length. Moreover, memory access during inference can be done in a constant time under some assumptions.

    11/19/2015 ∙ by Karol Kurach, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Parameter Space Noise for Exploration

    Deep reinforcement learning (RL) methods generally engage in exploratory behavior through noise injection in the action space. An alternative is to add noise directly to the agent's parameters, which can lead to more consistent exploration and a richer set of behaviors. Methods such as evolutionary strategies use parameter perturbations, but discard all temporal structure in the process and require significantly more samples. Combining parameter noise with traditional RL methods allows to combine the best of both worlds. We demonstrate that both off- and on-policy methods benefit from this approach through experimental comparison of DQN, DDPG, and TRPO on high-dimensional discrete action environments as well as continuous control tasks. Our results show that RL with parameter noise learns more efficiently than traditional RL with action space noise and evolutionary strategies individually.

    06/06/2017 ∙ by Matthias Plappert, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Overcoming Exploration in Reinforcement Learning with Demonstrations

    Exploration in environments with sparse rewards has been a persistent problem in reinforcement learning (RL). Many tasks are natural to specify with a sparse reward, and manually shaping a reward function can result in suboptimal performance. However, finding a non-zero reward is exponentially more difficult with increasing task horizon or action dimensionality. This puts many real-world tasks out of practical reach of RL methods. In this work, we use demonstrations to overcome the exploration problem and successfully learn to perform long-horizon, multi-step robotics tasks with continuous control such as stacking blocks with a robot arm. Our method, which builds on top of Deep Deterministic Policy Gradients and Hindsight Experience Replay, provides an order of magnitude of speedup over RL on simulated robotics tasks. It is simple to implement and makes only the additional assumption that we can collect a small set of demonstrations. Furthermore, our method is able to solve tasks not solvable by either RL or behavior cloning alone, and often ends up outperforming the demonstrator policy.

    09/28/2017 ∙ by Ashvin Nair, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Asymmetric Actor Critic for Image-Based Robot Learning

    Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has proven a powerful technique in many sequential decision making domains. However, Robotics poses many challenges for RL, most notably training on a physical system can be expensive and dangerous, which has sparked significant interest in learning control policies using a physics simulator. While several recent works have shown promising results in transferring policies trained in simulation to the real world, they often do not fully utilize the advantage of working with a simulator. In this work, we exploit the full state observability in the simulator to train better policies which take as input only partial observations (RGBD images). We do this by employing an actor-critic training algorithm in which the critic is trained on full states while the actor (or policy) gets rendered images as input. We show experimentally on a range of simulated tasks that using these asymmetric inputs significantly improves performance. Finally, we combine this method with domain randomization and show real robot experiments for several tasks like picking, pushing, and moving a block. We achieve this simulation to real world transfer without training on any real world data.

    10/18/2017 ∙ by Lerrel Pinto, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Sim-to-Real Transfer of Robotic Control with Dynamics Randomization

    Simulations are attractive environments for training agents as they provide an abundant source of data and alleviate certain safety concerns during the training process. But the behaviours developed by agents in simulation are often specific to the characteristics of the simulator. Due to modeling error, strategies that are successful in simulation may not transfer to their real world counterparts. In this paper, we demonstrate a simple method to bridge this "reality gap." By randomizing the dynamics of the simulator during training, we are able to develop policies that are capable of adapting to very different dynamics, including ones that differ significantly from the dynamics on which the policies were trained. This adaptivity enables the policies to generalize to the dynamics of the real world without any training on the physical system. Our approach is demonstrated on an object pushing task using a robotic arm. Despite being trained exclusively in simulation, our policies are able to maintain a similar level of performance when deployed on a real robot, reliably moving an object to a desired location from random initial configurations. We explore the impact of various design decisions and show that the resulting policies are robust to significant calibration error.

    10/18/2017 ∙ by Xue Bin Peng, et al. ∙ 0 share

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