Generalization has been one of the major challenges for learning dynamics models in model-based reinforcement learning. However, previous work on action-conditioned dynamics prediction focuses on learning the pixel-level motion and thus does not generalize well to novel environments with different object layouts. In this paper, we present a novel object-oriented framework, called object-oriented dynamics predictor (OODP), which decomposes the environment into objects and predicts the dynamics of objects conditioned on both actions and object-to-object relations. It is an end-to-end neural network and can be trained in an unsupervised manner. To enable the generalization ability of dynamics learning, we design a novel CNN-based relation mechanism that is class-specific (rather than object-specific) and exploits the locality principle. Empirical results show that OODP significantly outperforms previous methods in terms of generalization over novel environments with various object layouts. OODP is able to learn from very few environments and accurately predict dynamics in a large number of unseen environments. In addition, OODP learns semantically and visually interpretable dynamics models.

* Accepted to NIPS 2018
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Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have shown impressive performance in generating photo-realistic images. They fit generative models by minimizing certain distance measure between the real image distribution and the generated data distribution. Several distance measures have been used, such as Jensen-Shannon divergence, $f$-divergence, and Wasserstein distance, and choosing an appropriate distance measure is very important for training the generative network. In this paper, we choose to use the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) as the distance metric, which has several nice theoretical guarantees. In fact, generative moment matching network (GMMN) (Li, Swersky, and Zemel 2015) is such a generative model which contains only one generator network $G$ trained by directly minimizing MMD between the real and generated distributions. However, it fails to generate meaningful samples on challenging benchmark datasets, such as CIFAR-10 and LSUN. To improve on GMMN, we propose to add an extra network $F$, called mapper. $F$ maps both real data distribution and generated data distribution from the original data space to a feature representation space $\mathcal{R}$, and it is trained to maximize MMD between the two mapped distributions in $\mathcal{R}$, while the generator $G$ tries to minimize the MMD. We call the new model generative adversarial mapping networks (GAMNs). We demonstrate that the adversarial mapper $F$ can help $G$ to better capture the underlying data distribution. We also show that GAMN significantly outperforms GMMN, and is also superior to or comparable with other state-of-the-art GAN based methods on MNIST, CIFAR-10 and LSUN-Bedrooms datasets.

* 9 pages, 7 figures
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Transfer learning can greatly speed up reinforcement learning for a new task by leveraging policies of relevant tasks. Existing works of policy reuse either focus on only selecting a single best source policy for transfer without considering contexts, or cannot guarantee to learn an optimal policy for a target task. To improve transfer efficiency and guarantee optimality, we develop a novel policy reuse method, called Context-Aware Policy reuSe (CAPS), that enables multi-policy transfer. Our method learns when and which source policy is best for reuse, as well as when to terminate its reuse. CAPS provides theoretical guarantees in convergence and optimality for both source policy selection and target task learning. Empirical results on a grid-based navigation domain and the Pygame Learning Environment demonstrate that CAPS significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art policy reuse methods.

* This version is the preprint for the submission of NIPS 2018
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