Hierarchical Planning and Learning for Robots in Stochastic Settings Using Zero-Shot Option Invention


This paper addresses the problem of inventing and using hierar- chical representations for stochastic robot-planning problems. Rather than using hand-coded state or action representations as input, it presents new methods for learning how to cre- ate a high-level action representation for long-horizon, sparse reward robot planning problems in stochastic settings with unknown dynamics. After training, this system yields a robot- specific but environment independent planning system. Given new problem instances in unseen stochastic environments, it first creates zero-shot options (without any experience on the new environment) with dense pseudo-rewards and then uses them to solve the input problem in a hierarchical planning and refinement process. Theoretical results identify sufficient conditions for completeness of the presented approach. Ex- tensive empirical analysis shows that even in settings that go beyond these sufficient conditions, this approach convincingly outperforms baselines by 2× in terms of solution time with orders of magnitude improvement in solution quality.

Association for Advancements of Artificial Intelligence