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Dimensionality Reduced Reinforcement Learning for Assistive Robots

William Curran, Tim Brys, David Aha, Matthew Taylor, and William D. Smart.
In "Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium on Artificial Intelligence for Human-Robot Interaction", 2016.

State-of-the-art personal robots need to perform complex manipulation tasks to be viable in assistive scenarios. However, many of these robots, like the PR2, use manipulators with high degrees-of-freedom, and the problem is made worse in bimanual manipulation tasks. The complexity of these robots lead to large dimensional state spaces, which are difficult to learn in. We reduce the state space by using demonstrations to discover a representative low-dimensional hyperplane in which to learn. This allows the agent to converge quickly to a good policy. We call this Dimensionality Reduced Reinforcement Learning (DRRL). However, when performing dimensionality reduction, not all dimensions can be fully represented. We extend this work by first learning in a single dimension, and then transferring that knowledge to a higher-dimensional hyperplane. By using our Iterative DRRL (IDRRL) framework with an existing learning algorithm, the agent converges quickly to a better policy by iterating to increasingly higher dimensions. IDRRL is robust to demonstration quality and can learn efficiently using few demonstrations. We show that adding IDRRL to the Q-Learning algorithm leads to faster learning on a set of mountain car tasks and the robot swimmers problem.

Paper: [PDF]

  author = {Curran, William and Brys, Tim and Aha, David and Taylor, Matthew E. and Smart, William D.},
  title = {Dimensionality Reduced Reinforcement Learning for Assistive Robots},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the {AAAI} Fall Symposium on Artificial Intelligence for Human-Robot Interaction},
  year = {2016}