Sample-Efficient and Safe Deep Reinforcement Learning via Reset Deep Ensemble Agents

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Woojun Kim, Yongjae Shin, Jongeui Park, Youngchul Sung


Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has achieved remarkable success in solving complex tasks through its integration with deep neural networks (DNNs) as function approximators. However, the reliance on DNNs has introduced a new challenge called primacy bias, whereby these function approximators tend to prioritize early experiences, leading to overfitting. To alleviate this bias, a reset method has been proposed, which involves periodic resets of a portion or the entirety of a deep RL agent while preserving the replay buffer. However, the use of this method can result in performance collapses after executing the reset, raising concerns from the perspective of safe RL and regret minimization. In this paper, we propose a novel reset-based method that leverages deep ensemble learning to address the limitations of the vanilla reset method and enhance sample efficiency. The effectiveness of the proposed method is validated through various experiments including those in the domain of safe RL. Numerical results demonstrate its potential for real-world applications requiring high sample efficiency and safety considerations.