Matthias Plappert

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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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  • 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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  • Learning a bidirectional mapping between human whole-body motion and natural language using deep recurrent neural networks

    Linking human whole-body motion and natural language is of great interest for the generation of semantic representations of observed human behaviors as well as for the generation of robot behaviors based on natural language input. While there has been a large body of research in this area, most approaches that exist today require a symbolic representation of motions (e.g. in the form of motion primitives), which have to be defined a-priori or require complex segmentation algorithms. In contrast, recent advances in the field of neural networks and especially deep learning have demonstrated that sub-symbolic representations that can be learned end-to-end usually outperform more traditional approaches, for applications such as machine translation. In this paper we propose a generative model that learns a bidirectional mapping between human whole-body motion and natural language using deep recurrent neural networks (RNNs) and sequence-to-sequence learning. Our approach does not require any segmentation or manual feature engineering and learns a distributed representation, which is shared for all motions and descriptions. We evaluate our approach on 2,846 human whole-body motions and 6,187 natural language descriptions thereof from the KIT Motion-Language Dataset. Our results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model: We show that our model generates a wide variety of realistic motions only from descriptions thereof in form of a single sentence. Conversely, our model is also capable of generating correct and detailed natural language descriptions from human motions.

    05/18/2017 ∙ by Matthias Plappert, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • The KIT Motion-Language Dataset

    Linking human motion and natural language is of great interest for the generation of semantic representations of human activities as well as for the generation of robot activities based on natural language input. However, while there have been years of research in this area, no standardized and openly available dataset exists to support the development and evaluation of such systems. We therefore propose the KIT Motion-Language Dataset, which is large, open, and extensible. We aggregate data from multiple motion capture databases and include them in our dataset using a unified representation that is independent of the capture system or marker set, making it easy to work with the data regardless of its origin. To obtain motion annotations in natural language, we apply a crowd-sourcing approach and a web-based tool that was specifically build for this purpose, the Motion Annotation Tool. We thoroughly document the annotation process itself and discuss gamification methods that we used to keep annotators motivated. We further propose a novel method, perplexity-based selection, which systematically selects motions for further annotation that are either under-represented in our dataset or that have erroneous annotations. We show that our method mitigates the two aforementioned problems and ensures a systematic annotation process. We provide an in-depth analysis of the structure and contents of our resulting dataset, which, as of June 14, 2016, contains 3917 motions with a total duration of 11.26 hours and 5486 annotations in natural language that contain 45779 words. We believe that this makes our dataset an excellent choice that enables more transparent and comparable research in this important area.

    07/13/2016 ∙ by Matthias Plappert, et al. ∙ 0 share

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