Learning Shared Safety Constraints from Multi-task Demonstrations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Konwoo Kim, Gokul Swamy, ZUXIN LIU, DING ZHAO, Sanjiban Choudhury, Steven Z. Wu


Regardless of the particular task we want to perform in an environment, there are often shared safety constraints we want our agents to respect. For example, regardless of whether it is making a sandwich or clearing the table, a kitchen robot should not break a plate. Manually specifying such a constraint can be both time-consuming and error-prone. We show how to learn constraints from expert demonstrations of safe task completion by extending inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) techniques to the space of constraints. Intuitively, we learn constraints that forbid highly rewarding behavior that the expert could have taken but chose not to. Unfortunately, the constraint learning problem is rather ill-posed and typically leads to overly conservative constraints that forbid all behavior that the expert did not take. We counter this by leveraging diverse demonstrations that naturally occur in multi-task setting to learn a tighter set of constraints. We validate our method with simulation experiments on high-dimensional continuous control tasks.