Offline Reinforcement Learning with Reverse Model-based Imagination

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Jianhao Wang, Wenzhe Li, Haozhe Jiang, Guangxiang Zhu, Siyuan Li, Chongjie Zhang


In offline reinforcement learning (offline RL), one of the main challenges is to deal with the distributional shift between the learning policy and the given dataset. To address this problem, recent offline RL methods attempt to introduce conservatism bias to encourage learning in high-confidence areas. Model-free approaches directly encode such bias into policy or value function learning using conservative regularizations or special network structures, but their constrained policy search limits the generalization beyond the offline dataset. Model-based approaches learn forward dynamics models with conservatism quantifications and then generate imaginary trajectories to extend the offline datasets. However, due to limited samples in offline datasets, conservatism quantifications often suffer from overgeneralization in out-of-support regions. The unreliable conservative measures will mislead forward model-based imaginations to undesired areas, leading to overaggressive behaviors. To encourage more conservatism, we propose a novel model-based offline RL framework, called Reverse Offline Model-based Imagination (ROMI). We learn a reverse dynamics model in conjunction with a novel reverse policy, which can generate rollouts leading to the target goal states within the offline dataset. These reverse imaginations provide informed data augmentation for model-free policy learning and enable conservative generalization beyond the offline dataset. ROMI can effectively combine with off-the-shelf model-free algorithms to enable model-based generalization with proper conservatism. Empirical results show that our method can generate more conservative behaviors and achieve state-of-the-art performance on offline RL benchmark tasks.