Bayesian estimation of the model in model-based RL for robots

Senda, Kei, Hishinuma, Toru, Tani, Yurika, Approximate Bayesian reinforcement learning based on estimation of plant, Autonomous Robots 44(5), DOI: 10.1007/s10514-020-09901-4.

This study proposes an approximate parametric model-based Bayesian reinforcement learning approach for robots, based on online Bayesian estimation and online planning for an estimated model. The proposed approach is designed to learn a robotic task with a few real-world samples and to be robust against model uncertainty, within feasible computational resources. The proposed approach employs two-stage modeling, which is composed of (1) a parametric differential equation model with a few parameters based on prior knowledge such as equations of motion, and (2) a parametric model that interpolates a finite number of transition probability models for online estimation and planning. The proposed approach modifies the online Bayesian estimation to be robust against approximation errors of the parametric model to a real plant. The policy planned for the interpolating model is proven to have a form of theoretical robustness. Numerical simulation and hardware experiments of a planar peg-in-hole task demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

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