Behavioral Repertoire via Generative Adversarial Policy Networks

Marija Jegorova, Stephane Doncieux, Timothy M Hospedales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Learning algorithms are enabling robots to solve increasingly challenging real-world tasks. These approaches often rely on demonstrations and reproduce the behavior shown. Unexpected changes in the environment or in robot morphology may require using different behaviors to achieve the same effect, for instance to reach and grasp an object in changing clutter. An emerging paradigm addressing this robustness issue is to learn a diverse set of successful behaviors for a given task, from which a robot can select the most suitable policy when faced with a new environment. In this paper, we explore a novel realization of this vision by learning a generative model over policies. Rather than learning a single policy, or a small fixed repertoire, our generative model for policies compactly encodes an unbounded number of policies and allows novel controller variants to be sampled. Leveraging our generative policy network, a robot can sample novel behaviors until it finds one that works for a new scenario. We demonstrate this idea with an application of robust ball-throwing in the presence of obstacles, as well as joint-damage-robust throwing. We show that this approach achieves a greater diversity of behaviors than an existing evolutionary approach, while maintaining good efficacy of sampled behaviors, allowing a Baxter robot to hit targets more often when ball throwing in the presence of varying obstacles or joint impediments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Early online date10 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2020

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