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Recovering from Out-of-sample States via Inverse Dynamics in Offline Reinforcement Learning

Ke Jiang · Jia-Yu Yao · Xiaoyang Tan


In this paper we deal with the state distributional shift problem commonly encountered in offline reinforcement learning during test, where the agent tends to take unreliable actions at out-of-sample (unseen) states. Our idea is to encourage the agent to follow the so called state recovery principle when taking actions, i.e., besides long-term return, the immediate consequences of the current action should also be taken into account and those capable of recovering the state distribution of the behavior policy are preferred. For this purpose, an inverse dynamics model is learned and employed to guide the state recovery behavior of the new policy. Theoretically, we show that the proposed method helps aligning the transited state distribution of the new policy with the offline dataset at out-of-sample states, without the need of explicitly predicting the transited state distribution, which is usually difficult in high-dimensional and complicated environments. The effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed method is demonstrated with the state-of-the-art performance on the general offline RL benchmarks.

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