Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)
Guangxiang Zhu, Zhiao Huang, Chongjie Zhang
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.