Object-Focused Advice in Reinforcement Learning

TitleObject-Focused Advice in Reinforcement Learning
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKrening, S., B. Harrison, K. M. Feigh, C. Isbell, and A. Thomaz
Conference NameProceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Autonomous Agents & Multiagent Systems
Date Published05/2016

In order for robots and intelligent agents to interact with and learn from people with no machine-learning expertise, robots should be able to learn from natural human instruction. Many human explanations consist of simple sentences without state information, yet most machine learning techniques that incorporate human guidance cannot use non-specific explanations. This work aims to learn policies from a few sentences that aren't state specific. The proposed Object-focused advice links an object to an action, and allows a person to generalize over an object's state space. To evaluate this technique, agents were trained using Object-focused advice collected from participants in an experiment in the Mario Bros. domain. The results show that Object-focused advice performs better than when no advice is given, the agent can learn where to apply the advice in the state space, and the agent can recover from adversarial advice. Also, including warnings of what not do to in addition to advice of what actions to take improves performance.

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