Tag Archives: Rl Benchmarks

Hybridizing model-free and model-based in continuous RL, and a nice review of current research and benchmarks in robotics

Pinosky A, Abraham I, Broad A, Argall B, Murphey TD. Hybrid control for combining model-based and model-free reinforcement learning The International Journal of Robotics Research. 2023;42(6):337-355 DOI: 10.1177/02783649221083331.

We develop an approach to improve the learning capabilities of robotic systems by combining learned predictive models with experience-based state-action policy mappings. Predictive models provide an understanding of the task and the dynamics, while experience-based (model-free) policy mappings encode favorable actions that override planned actions. We refer to our approach of systematically combining model-based and model-free learning methods as hybrid learning. Our approach efficiently learns motor skills and improves the performance of predictive models and experience-based policies. Moreover, our approach enables policies (both model-based and model-free) to be updated using any off-policy reinforcement learning method. We derive a deterministic method of hybrid learning by optimally switching between learning modalities. We adapt our method to a stochastic variation that relaxes some of the key assumptions in the original derivation. Our deterministic and stochastic variations are tested on a variety of robot control benchmark tasks in simulation as well as a hardware manipulation task. We extend our approach for use with imitation learning methods, where experience is provided through demonstrations, and we test the expanded capability with a real-world pick-and-place task. The results show that our method is capable of improving the performance and sample efficiency of learning motor skills in a variety of experimental domains.