Publications Details

Publication Details

Contextualize Me -- The Case for Context in Reinforcement Learning

authored by
Carolin Benjamins, Theresa Eimer, Frederik Schubert, Aditya Mohan, André Biedenkapp, Bodo Rosenhahn, Frank Hutter, Marius Lindauer

While Reinforcement Learning (RL) has made great strides towards solving increasingly complicated problems, many algorithms are still brittle to even slight changes in environments. Contextual Reinforcement Learning (cRL) provides a theoretical framework to model such changes in a principled manner, thereby enabling flexible, precise and interpretable task specification and generation. Thus, cRL is an important formalization for studying generalization in RL. In this work, we reason about solving cRL in theory and practice. We show that theoretically optimal behavior in contextual Markov Decision Processes requires explicit context information. In addition, we empirically explore context-based task generation, utilizing context information in training and propose cGate, our state-modulating policy architecture. To this end, we introduce the first benchmark library designed for generalization based on cRL extensions of popular benchmarks, CARL. In short: Context matters!

Machine Learning Section
Institute of Information Processing
L3S Research Centre
Publication date
Publication status
E-pub ahead of print
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)