Models, code, and papers for "Alexandre Galashov":

Task Agnostic Continual Learning via Meta Learning

Jun 12, 2019
Xu He, Jakub Sygnowski, Alexandre Galashov, Andrei A. Rusu, Yee Whye Teh, Razvan Pascanu

While neural networks are powerful function approximators, they suffer from catastrophic forgetting when the data distribution is not stationary. One particular formalism that studies learning under non-stationary distribution is provided by continual learning, where the non-stationarity is imposed by a sequence of distinct tasks. Most methods in this space assume, however, the knowledge of task boundaries, and focus on alleviating catastrophic forgetting. In this work, we depart from this view and move the focus towards faster remembering -- i.e measuring how quickly the network recovers performance rather than measuring the network's performance without any adaptation. We argue that in many settings this can be more effective and that it opens the door to combining meta-learning and continual learning techniques, leveraging their complementary advantages. We propose a framework specific for the scenario where no information about task boundaries or task identity is given. It relies on a separation of concerns into what task is being solved and how the task should be solved. This framework is implemented by differentiating task specific parameters from task agnostic parameters, where the latter are optimized in a continual meta learning fashion, without access to multiple tasks at the same time. We showcase this framework in a supervised learning scenario and discuss the implication of the proposed formalism.

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Meta reinforcement learning as task inference

May 15, 2019
Jan Humplik, Alexandre Galashov, Leonard Hasenclever, Pedro A. Ortega, Yee Whye Teh, Nicolas Heess

Humans achieve efficient learning by relying on prior knowledge about the structure of naturally occurring tasks. There has been considerable interest in designing reinforcement learning algorithms with similar properties. This includes several proposals to learn the learning algorithm itself, an idea also referred to as meta learning. One formal interpretation of this idea is in terms of a partially observable multi-task reinforcement learning problem in which information about the task is hidden from the agent. Although agents that solve partially observable environments can be trained from rewards alone, shaping an agent's memory with additional supervision has been shown to boost learning efficiency. It is thus natural to ask what kind of supervision, if any, facilitates meta-learning. Here we explore several choices and develop an architecture that separates learning of the belief about the unknown task from learning of the policy, and that can be used effectively with privileged information about the task during training. We show that this approach can be very effective at solving standard meta-RL environments, as well as a complex continuous control environment in which a simulated robot has to execute various movement sequences.

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Neural probabilistic motor primitives for humanoid control

Jan 15, 2019
Josh Merel, Leonard Hasenclever, Alexandre Galashov, Arun Ahuja, Vu Pham, Greg Wayne, Yee Whye Teh, Nicolas Heess

We focus on the problem of learning a single motor module that can flexibly express a range of behaviors for the control of high-dimensional physically simulated humanoids. To do this, we propose a motor architecture that has the general structure of an inverse model with a latent-variable bottleneck. We show that it is possible to train this model entirely offline to compress thousands of expert policies and learn a motor primitive embedding space. The trained neural probabilistic motor primitive system can perform one-shot imitation of whole-body humanoid behaviors, robustly mimicking unseen trajectories. Additionally, we demonstrate that it is also straightforward to train controllers to reuse the learned motor primitive space to solve tasks, and the resulting movements are relatively naturalistic. To support the training of our model, we compare two approaches for offline policy cloning, including an experience efficient method which we call linear feedback policy cloning. We encourage readers to view a supplementary video ( ) summarizing our results.

* Accepted as a conference paper at ICLR 2019 

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Meta-Learning surrogate models for sequential decision making

Mar 28, 2019
Alexandre Galashov, Jonathan Schwarz, Hyunjik Kim, Marta Garnelo, David Saxton, Pushmeet Kohli, S. M. Ali Eslami, Yee Whye Teh

Meta-learning methods leverage past experience to learn data-driven inductive biases from related problems, increasing learning efficiency on new tasks. This ability renders them particularly suitable for sequential decision making with limited experience. Within this problem family, we argue for the use of such approaches in the study of model-based approaches to Bayesian Optimisation, contextual bandits and Reinforcement Learning. We approach the problem by learning distributions over functions using Neural Processes (NPs), a recently introduced probabilistic meta-learning method. This allows the treatment of model uncertainty to tackle the exploration/exploitation dilemma. We show that NPs are suitable for sequential decision making on a diverse set of domains, including adversarial task search, recommender systems and model-based reinforcement learning.

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Exploiting Hierarchy for Learning and Transfer in KL-regularized RL

Mar 18, 2019
Dhruva Tirumala, Hyeonwoo Noh, Alexandre Galashov, Leonard Hasenclever, Arun Ahuja, Greg Wayne, Razvan Pascanu, Yee Whye Teh, Nicolas Heess

As reinforcement learning agents are tasked with solving more challenging and diverse tasks, the ability to incorporate prior knowledge into the learning system and to exploit reusable structure in solution space is likely to become increasingly important. The KL-regularized expected reward objective constitutes one possible tool to this end. It introduces an additional component, a default or prior behavior, which can be learned alongside the policy and as such partially transforms the reinforcement learning problem into one of behavior modelling. In this work we consider the implications of this framework in cases where both the policy and default behavior are augmented with latent variables. We discuss how the resulting hierarchical structures can be used to implement different inductive biases and how their modularity can benefit transfer. Empirically we find that they can lead to faster learning and transfer on a range of continuous control tasks.

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Information asymmetry in KL-regularized RL

May 03, 2019
Alexandre Galashov, Siddhant M. Jayakumar, Leonard Hasenclever, Dhruva Tirumala, Jonathan Schwarz, Guillaume Desjardins, Wojciech M. Czarnecki, Yee Whye Teh, Razvan Pascanu, Nicolas Heess

Many real world tasks exhibit rich structure that is repeated across different parts of the state space or in time. In this work we study the possibility of leveraging such repeated structure to speed up and regularize learning. We start from the KL regularized expected reward objective which introduces an additional component, a default policy. Instead of relying on a fixed default policy, we learn it from data. But crucially, we restrict the amount of information the default policy receives, forcing it to learn reusable behaviors that help the policy learn faster. We formalize this strategy and discuss connections to information bottleneck approaches and to the variational EM algorithm. We present empirical results in both discrete and continuous action domains and demonstrate that, for certain tasks, learning a default policy alongside the policy can significantly speed up and improve learning.

* Accepted as a conference paper at ICLR 2019 

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