Title

Design of control systems using active uncertainty reduction-based reinforcement learning

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

11-3-2020

Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Abstract

Model-free reinforcement learning based methods such as Proximal Policy Optimization, or Q-learning typically require thousands of interactions with the environment to approximate the optimal controller which may not always be feasible in robotics due to safety and time consumption. Model-based methods such as PILCO or BlackDrops, while data-efficient, provide solutions with limited robustness and complexity. To address this tradeoff, we introduce active uncertainty reductionbased virtual environments, which are formed through limited trials conducted in the original environment. We provide an efficient method for uncertainty management, which is used as a metric for self-improvement by identification of the points with maximum expected improvement through adaptive sampling. Capturing the uncertainty also allows for better mimicking of the reward responses of the original system. Our approach enables the use of complex policy structures and reward functions through a unique combination of model-based and model-free methods, while still retaining the data efficiency. We demonstrate the validity of our method on several classic reinforcement learning problems in OpenAI gym. We prove that our approach offers a better modeling capacity for complex system dynamics as compared to established methods.

Publisher's Statement

Copyright © 2020 ASME. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2020-22014

Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference

ISBN

9780791884010

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