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Count-Based Temperature Scheduling for Maximum Entropy Reinforcement Learning
Dailin Hu · Pieter Abbeel · Roy Fox
Event URL: https://openreview.net/forum?id=rprsg_wGbE9 »

Maximum Entropy Reinforcement Learning (MaxEnt RL) algorithms such as Soft Q-Learning (SQL) and Soft Actor–Critic trade off reward and policy entropy, which has the potential to improve training stability and robustness. Most MaxEnt RL methods, however, use a constant tradeoff coefficient (temperature), contrary to the intuition that the temperature should be high early in training to avoid overfitting to noisy value estimates and decrease later in training as we increasingly trust high value estimates to truly lead to good rewards. Moreover, our confidence in value estimates is state-dependent, increasing every time we use more evidence to update an estimate. In this paper, we present a simple state-based temperature scheduling approach, and instantiate it for SQL as Count-Based Soft Q-Learning (CBSQL). We evaluate our approach on a toy domain as well as in several Atari 2600 domains and show promising results.

Author Information

Dailin Hu (UC Irvine)
Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley & Covariant)

Pieter Abbeel is Professor and Director of the Robot Learning Lab at UC Berkeley [2008- ], Co-Director of the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, Co-Founder of covariant.ai [2017- ], Co-Founder of Gradescope [2014- ], Advisor to OpenAI, Founding Faculty Partner AI@TheHouse venture fund, Advisor to many AI/Robotics start-ups. He works in machine learning and robotics. In particular his research focuses on making robots learn from people (apprenticeship learning), how to make robots learn through their own trial and error (reinforcement learning), and how to speed up skill acquisition through learning-to-learn (meta-learning). His robots have learned advanced helicopter aerobatics, knot-tying, basic assembly, organizing laundry, locomotion, and vision-based robotic manipulation. He has won numerous awards, including best paper awards at ICML, NIPS and ICRA, early career awards from NSF, Darpa, ONR, AFOSR, Sloan, TR35, IEEE, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Pieter's work is frequently featured in the popular press, including New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, Tech Review, NPR.

Roy Fox (UC Irvine)
Roy Fox

[Roy Fox](royf.org) is an Assistant Professor and director of the Intelligent Dynamics Lab at the Department of Computer Science at UCI. His research interests include theory and applications of reinforcement learning, algorithmic game theory, information theory, and robotics. His current research focuses on structure, exploration, and optimization in deep reinforcement learning and imitation learning of virtual and physical agents and multi-agent systems. He was previously a postdoc at UC Berkeley, where he developed algorithms and systems that interact with humans to learn structured control policies for robotics and program synthesis.

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