Publication Details


Policy Trajectory Ensemble Regularization for Unsupervised Reinforcement Learning

authored by
Frederik Schubert, Carolin Benjamins, Sebastian Döhler, Bodo Rosenhahn, Marius Lindauer

The goal of Unsupervised Reinforcement Learning ( URL) is to find a reward agnostic prior policy on a task domain, such that the sample-efficiency on supervised downstream tasks is improved. Although agents initialized with such a prior policy can achieve a significantly higher reward with fewer samples when finetuned on the downstream task, it is still an open question how an optimal pretrained prior policy can be achieved in practice. In this work, we present POLTER (Policy Trajectory Ensemble Regularization) – a general method to regularize the pretraining that can be applied to any URL algorithm and is especially useful on data- and knowledge-based URL algorithms. It utilizes an ensemble of policies that are discovered during pretraining and moves the policy of the URL algorithm closer to its optimal prior. Our method is based on a theoretical framework, and we analyze its practical effects on a white-box benchmark, allowing us to study POLTER with full control. In our main experiments, we evaluate POLTER on the Unsupervised Reinforcement Learning Benchmark ( URLB ), which consists of 12 tasks in 3 domains. We demonstrate the generality of our approach by improving the performance of a diverse set of data- and knowledge-based URL algorithms by 19% on average and up to 40% in the best case. Under a fair comparison with tuned baselines and tuned POLTER, we establish a new state-of-the-art for model-free methods on the URLB

Institute of Information Processing
L3S Research Centre
Machine Learning Section
Automatic Image Interpretation Section
Transactions on Machine Learning Research
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Peer reviewed
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