How to learn an effective reinforcement learning-based model for control tasks from high-level visual observations is a practical and challenging problem. A key to solving this problem is to learn low-dimensional state representations from observations, from which an effective policy can be learned. In order to boost the learning of state encoding, recent works are focused on capturing behavioral similarities between state representations or applying data augmentation on visual observations. In this paper, we propose a novel meta-learner-based framework for representation learning regarding behavioral similarities for reinforcement learning. Specifically, our framework encodes the high-dimensional observations into two decomposed embeddings regarding reward and dynamics in a Markov Decision Process (MDP). A pair of meta-learners are developed, one of which quantifies the reward similarity and the other quantifies dynamics similarity over the correspondingly decomposed embeddings. The meta-learners are self-learned to update the state embeddings by approximating two disjoint terms in on-policy bisimulation metric. To incorporate the reward and dynamics terms, we further develop a strategy to adaptively balance their impacts based on different tasks or environments. We empirically demonstrate that our proposed framework outperforms state-of-the-art baselines on several benchmarks, including conventional DM Control Suite, Distracting DM Control Suite and a self-driving task CARLA.
In deep reinforcement learning (RL) tasks, an efficient exploration mechanism should be able to encourage an agent to take actions that lead to less frequent states which may yield higher accumulative future return. However, both knowing about the future and evaluating the frequentness of states are non-trivial tasks, especially for deep RL domains, where a state is represented by high-dimensional image frames. In this paper, we propose a novel informed exploration framework for deep RL, where we build the capability for an RL agent to predict over the future transitions and evaluate the frequentness for the predicted future frames in a meaningful manner. To this end, we train a deep prediction model to predict future frames given a state-action pair, and a convolutional autoencoder model to hash over the seen frames. In addition, to utilize the counts derived from the seen frames to evaluate the frequentness for the predicted frames, we tackle the challenge of matching the predicted future frames and their corresponding seen frames at the latent feature level. In this way, we derive a reliable metric for evaluating the novelty of the future direction pointed by each action, and hence inform the agent to explore the least frequent one.