MultiON: Benchmarking Semantic Map Memory using Multi-Object Navigation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Saim Wani, Shivansh Patel, Unnat Jain, Angel Chang, Manolis Savva


<p>Navigation tasks in photorealistic 3D environments are challenging because they require perception and effective planning under partial observability. Recent work shows that map-like memory is useful for long-horizon navigation tasks. However, a focused investigation of the impact of maps on navigation tasks of varying complexity has not yet been performed.</p> <p>We propose the multiON task, which requires navigation to an episode-specific sequence of objects in a realistic environment. MultiON generalizes the ObjectGoal navigation task and explicitly tests the ability of navigation agents to locate previously observed goal objects. We perform a set of multiON experiments to examine how a variety of agent models perform across a spectrum of navigation task complexities. Our experiments show that: i) navigation performance degrades dramatically with escalating task complexity; ii) a simple semantic map agent performs surprisingly well relative to more complex neural image feature map agents; and iii) even oracle map agents achieve relatively low performance, indicating the potential for future work in training embodied navigation agents using maps.</p>