Estimating Q(s,s') with Deterministic Dynamics Gradients

Part of Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 1 pre-proceedings (ICML 2020)

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Authors

Ashley Edwards, Himanshu Sahni, Rosanne Liu, Jane Hung, Ankit Jain, Rui Wang, Adrien Ecoffet, Thomas Miconi, Charles Isbell, Jason Yosinski

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce a novel form of a value function, $Q(s, s')$, that expresses the utility of transitioning from a state $s$ to a neighboring state $s'$ and then acting optimally thereafter. In order to derive an optimal policy, we develop a novel forward dynamics model that learns to make next-state predictions that maximize $Q(s,s')$. This formulation decouples actions from values while still learning off-policy. We highlight the benefits of this approach in terms of value function transfer, learning within redundant action spaces, and learning off-policy from state observations generated by sub-optimal or completely random policies.