Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track
Hanqing Wang, Wei Liang, Luc V Gool, Wenguan Wang
With the emergence of varied visual navigation tasks (e.g., image-/object-/audio-goal and vision-language navigation) that specify the target in different ways, the community has made appealing advances in training specialized agents capable of handling individual navigation tasks well. Given plenty of embodied navigation tasks and task-specific solutions, we address a more fundamental question: can we learn a single powerful agent that masters not one but multiple navigation tasks concurrently? First, we propose VXN, a large-scale 3D dataset that instantiates~four classic navigation tasks in standardized, continuous, and audiovisual-rich environments. Second, we propose Vienna, a versatile embodied navigation agent that simultaneously learns to perform the four navigation tasks with one model. Building upon a full-attentive architecture, Vienna formulates various navigation tasks as a unified, parse-and-query procedure: the target description, augmented with four task embeddings, is comprehensively interpreted into a set of diversified goal vectors, which are refined as the navigation progresses, and used as queries to retrieve supportive context from episodic history for decision making. This enables the reuse of knowledge across navigation tasks with varying input domains/modalities. We empirically demonstrate that, compared with learning each visual navigation task individually, our multitask agent achieves comparable or even better performance with reduced complexity.