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Workshop: Deep Reinforcement Learning Workshop

Efficient Offline Policy Optimization with a Learned Model

Zichen Liu · Siyi Li · Wee Sun Lee · Shuicheng Yan · Zhongwen Xu


MuZero Unplugged presents a promising approach for offline policy learning from logged data. It conducts Monte-Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) with a learned model and leverages Reanalyze algorithm to learn purely from offline data. For good performance, MCTS requires accurate learned models and a large number of simulations, thus costing huge computing time. This paper investigates a few hypotheses where MuZero Unplugged may not work well under the offline RL settings, including 1) learning with limited data coverage; 2) learning from offline data of stochastic environments; 3) improperly parameterized models given the offline data; 4) with a low compute budget. We propose to use a regularized one-step look-ahead approach to tackle the above issues. Instead of planning with the expensive MCTS, we use the learned model to construct an advantage estimation based on a one-step rollout. Policy improvements are towards the direction that maximizes the estimated advantage with regularization of the dataset. We conduct extensive empirical studies with BSuite environments to verify the hypotheses and then run our algorithm on the RL Unplugged Atari benchmark. Experimental results show that our proposed approach achieves stable performance even with an inaccurate learned model. On the large-scale Atari benchmark, the proposed method outperforms MuZero Unplugged by 43%. Most significantly, it uses only 5.6% wall-clock time (i.e., 1 hour) compared to MuZero Unplugged (i.e., 17.8 hours) to achieve a 150% IQM normalized score with the same hardware and software stacks.

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