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Efficient Meta Reinforcement Learning for Preference-based Fast Adaptation
Zhizhou Ren · Anji Liu · Yitao Liang · Jian Peng · Jianzhu Ma


Learning new task-specific skills from a few trials is a fundamental challenge for artificial intelligence. Meta reinforcement learning (meta-RL) tackles this problem by learning transferable policies that support few-shot adaptation to unseen tasks. Despite recent advances in meta-RL, most existing methods require the access to the environmental reward function of new tasks to infer the task objective, which is not realistic in many practical applications. To bridge this gap, we study the problem of few-shot adaptation in the context of human-in-the-loop reinforcement learning. We develop a meta-RL algorithm that enables fast policy adaptation with preference-based feedback. The agent can adapt to new tasks by querying human's preference between behavior trajectories instead of using per-step numeric rewards. By extending techniques from information theory, our approach can design query sequences to maximize the information gain from human interactions while tolerating the inherent error of non-expert human oracle. In experiments, we extensively evaluate our method, Adaptation with Noisy OracLE (ANOLE), on a variety of meta-RL benchmark tasks and demonstrate substantial improvement over baseline algorithms in terms of both feedback efficiency and error tolerance.

Author Information

Zhizhou Ren (UIUC)
Anji Liu (University of California, Los Angeles)
Yitao Liang (Peking University)
Jian Peng (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Jianzhu Ma (Peking University)

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