results for au:Kaelbling_L in:cs

- Jan 03 2018 cs.RO arXiv:1801.00680v1This paper presents a general-purpose formulation of a large class of discrete-time planning problems, with hybrid state and control-spaces, as factored transition systems. Factoring allows state transitions to be described as the intersection of several constraints each affecting a subset of the state and control variables. Robotic manipulation problems with many movable objects involve constraints that only affect several variables at a time and therefore exhibit large amounts of factoring. We develop a theoretical framework for solving factored transition systems with sampling-based algorithms. The framework characterizes conditions on the submanifold in which solutions lie, leading to a characterization of robust feasibility that incorporates dimensionality-reducing constraints. It then connects those conditions to corresponding conditional samplers that can be composed to produce values on this submanifold. We present two domain-independent, probabilistically complete planning algorithms that take, as input, a set of conditional samplers. We demonstrate the empirical efficiency of these algorithms on a set of challenging task and motion planning problems involving picking, placing, and pushing.
- Nov 10 2017 cs.AI arXiv:1711.03243v1Program synthesis is a class of regression problems where one seeks a solution, in the form of a source-code program, mapping the inputs to their corresponding outputs exactly. Due to its precise and combinatorial nature, it is commonly formulated as a constraint satisfaction problem, where input-output examples are encoded as constraints and solved with a constraint solver. A key challenge of this formulation is scalability: while constraint solvers work well with few well-chosen examples, a large set of examples can incur significant overhead in both time and memory. We address this challenge by constructing a representative subset of examples that is both small and able to constrain the solver sufficiently. We build the subset one example at a time, using a neural network to predict the probability of unchosen input-output examples conditioned on the chosen input-output examples, and adding the least probable example to the subset. Experiment on a diagram drawing domain shows our approach produces subsets of examples that are small and representative for the constraint solver.
- Nov 07 2017 cs.AI arXiv:1711.01391v1In robotics, it is essential to be able to plan efficiently in high-dimensional continuous state-action spaces for long horizons. For such complex planning problems, unguided uniform sampling of actions until a path to a goal is found is hopelessly inefficient, and gradient-based approaches often fall short when the optimization manifold of a given problem is not smooth. In this paper we present an approach that guides the search of a state-space planner, such as A*, by learning an action-sampling distribution that can generalize across different instances of a planning problem. The motivation is that, unlike typical learning approaches for planning for continuous action space that estimate a policy, an estimated action sampler is more robust to error since it has a planner to fall back on. We use a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), and address an important issue: search experience consists of a relatively large number of actions that are not on a solution path and a relatively small number of actions that actually are on a solution path. We introduce a new technique, based on an importance-ratio estimation method, for using samples from a non-target distribution to make GAN learning more data-efficient. We provide theoretical guarantees and empirical evaluation in three challenging continuous robot planning problems to illustrate the effectiveness of our algorithm.
- This paper explains why deep learning can generalize well, despite large capacity and possible algorithmic instability, nonrobustness, and sharp minima, effectively addressing an open problem in the literature. Based on our theoretical insight, this paper also proposes a family of new regularization methods. Its simplest member was empirically shown to improve base models and achieve competitive performance on MNIST and CIFAR-10 benchmarks. Moreover, this paper presents both data-dependent and data-independent generalization guarantees with improved convergence rates. Our results suggest several new open areas of research.
- Jun 01 2017 cs.RO arXiv:1705.10907v1As drones and autonomous cars become more widespread it is becoming increasingly important that robots can operate safely under realistic conditions. The noisy information fed into real systems means that robots must use estimates of the environment to plan navigation. Efficiently guaranteeing that the resulting motion plans are safe under these circumstances has proved difficult. We examine how to guarantee that a trajectory or policy is safe with only imperfect observations of the environment. We examine the implications of various mathematical formalisms of safety and arrive at a mathematical notion of safety of a long-term execution, even when conditioned on observational information. We present efficient algorithms that can prove that trajectories or policies are safe with much tighter bounds than in previous work. Notably, the complexity of the environment does not affect our methods ability to evaluate if a trajectory or policy is safe. We then use these safety checking methods to design a safe variant of the RRT planning algorithm.
- We consider the problem of diagnosis where a set of simple observations are used to infer a potentially complex hidden hypothesis. Finding the optimal subset of observations is intractable in general, thus we focus on the problem of active diagnosis, where the agent selects the next most-informative observation based on the results of previous observations. We show that under the assumption of uniform observation entropy, one can build an implication model which directly predicts the outcome of the potential next observation conditioned on the results of past observations, and selects the observation with the maximum entropy. This approach enjoys reduced computation complexity by bypassing the complicated hypothesis space, and can be trained on observation data alone, learning how to query without knowledge of the hidden hypothesis.
- Jan 03 2017 cs.AI arXiv:1701.00287v2Many robotic planning applications involve continuous actions with highly non-linear constraints, which cannot be modeled using modern planners that construct a propositional representation. We introduce STRIPStream: an extension of the STRIPS language which can model these domains by supporting the specification of blackbox generators to handle complex constraints. The outputs of these generators interact with actions through possibly infinite streams of objects and static predicates. We provide two algorithms which both reduce STRIPStream problems to a sequence of finite-domain planning problems. The representation and algorithms are entirely domain independent. We demonstrate our framework on simple illustrative domains, and then on a high-dimensional, continuous robotic task and motion planning domain.
- Aug 05 2016 cs.RO arXiv:1608.01335v2Mobile manipulation problems involving many objects are challenging to solve due to the high dimensionality and multi-modality of their hybrid configuration spaces. Planners that perform a purely geometric search are prohibitively slow for solving these problems because they are unable to factor the configuration space. Symbolic task planners can efficiently construct plans involving many variables but cannot represent the geometric and kinematic constraints required in manipulation. We present the FFRob algorithm for solving task and motion planning problems. First, we introduce Extended Action Specification (EAS) as a general purpose planning representation that supports arbitrary predicates as conditions. We adapt existing heuristic search ideas for solving \procstrips planning problems, particularly delete-relaxations, to solve EAS problem instances. We then apply the EAS representation and planners to manipulation problems resulting in FFRob. FFRob iteratively discretizes task and motion planning problems using batch sampling of manipulation primitives and a multi-query roadmap structure that can be conditionalized to evaluate reachability under different placements of movable objects. This structure enables the EAS planner to efficiently compute heuristics that incorporate geometric and kinematic planning constraints to give a tight estimate of the distance to the goal. Additionally, we show FFRob is probabilistically complete and has finite expected runtime. Finally, we empirically demonstrate FFRob's effectiveness on complex and diverse task and motion planning tasks including rearrangement planning and navigation among movable objects.
- Aug 04 2016 cs.AI arXiv:1608.01302v1We investigate learning heuristics for domain-specific planning. Prior work framed learning a heuristic as an ordinary regression problem. However, in a greedy best-first search, the ordering of states induced by a heuristic is more indicative of the resulting planner's performance than mean squared error. Thus, we instead frame learning a heuristic as a learning to rank problem which we solve using a RankSVM formulation. Additionally, we introduce new methods for computing features that capture temporal interactions in an approximate plan. Our experiments on recent International Planning Competition problems show that the RankSVM learned heuristics outperform both the original heuristics and heuristics learned through ordinary regression.
- Jul 27 2016 cs.AI arXiv:1607.07762v4We introduce a framework for model learning and planning in stochastic domains with continuous state and action spaces and non-Gaussian transition models. It is efficient because (1) local models are estimated only when the planner requires them; (2) the planner focuses on the most relevant states to the current planning problem; and (3) the planner focuses on the most informative and/or high-value actions. Our theoretical analysis shows the validity and asymptotic optimality of the proposed approach. Empirically, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm on a simulated multi-modal pushing problem.
- In this paper we address planning problems in high-dimensional hybrid configuration spaces, with a particular focus on manipulation planning problems involving many objects. We present the hybrid backward-forward (HBF) planning algorithm that uses a backward identification of constraints to direct the sampling of the infinite action space in a forward search from the initial state towards a goal configuration. The resulting planner is probabilistically complete and can effectively construct long manipulation plans requiring both prehensile and nonprehensile actions in cluttered environments.
- This paper presents a Bayesian optimization method with exponential convergence without the need of auxiliary optimization and without the delta-cover sampling. Most Bayesian optimization methods require auxiliary optimization: an additional non-convex global optimization problem, which can be time-consuming and hard to implement in practice. Also, the existing Bayesian optimization method with exponential convergence requires access to the delta-cover sampling, which was considered to be impractical. Our approach eliminates both requirements and achieves an exponential convergence rate.
- To accomplish tasks in human-centric indoor environments, robots need to represent and understand the world in terms of objects and their attributes. We refer to this attribute-based representation as a world model, and consider how to acquire it via noisy perception and maintain it over time, as objects are added, changed, and removed in the world. Previous work has framed this as multiple-target tracking problem, where objects are potentially in motion at all times. Although this approach is general, it is computationally expensive. We argue that such generality is not needed in typical world modeling tasks, where objects only change state occasionally. More efficient approaches are enabled by restricting ourselves to such semi-static environments. We consider a previously-proposed clustering-based world modeling approach that assumed static environments, and extend it to semi-static domains by applying a dependent Dirichlet-process (DDP) mixture model. We derive a novel MAP inference algorithm under this model, subject to data association constraints. We demonstrate our approach improves computational performance in semi-static environments.
- Aug 08 2014 cs.AI arXiv:1408.1484v1Cooperative games are those in which both agents share the same payoff structure. Value-based reinforcement-learning algorithms, such as variants of Q-learning, have been applied to learning cooperative games, but they only apply when the game state is completely observable to both agents. Policy search methods are a reasonable alternative to value-based methods for partially observable environments. In this paper, we provide a gradient-based distributed policy-search method for cooperative games and compare the notion of local optimum to that of Nash equilibrium. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method experimentally in a small, partially observable simulated soccer domain.
- We describe a probabilistic framework for synthesizing control policies for general multi-robot systems, given environment and sensor models and a cost function. Decentralized, partially observable Markov decision processes (Dec-POMDPs) are a general model of decision processes where a team of agents must cooperate to optimize some objective (specified by a shared reward or cost function) in the presence of uncertainty, but where communication limitations mean that the agents cannot share their state, so execution must proceed in a decentralized fashion. While Dec-POMDPs are typically intractable to solve for real-world problems, recent research on the use of macro-actions in Dec-POMDPs has significantly increased the size of problem that can be practically solved as a Dec-POMDP. We describe this general model, and show how, in contrast to most existing methods that are specialized to a particular problem class, it can synthesize control policies that use whatever opportunities for coordination are present in the problem, while balancing off uncertainty in outcomes, sensor information, and information about other agents. We use three variations on a warehouse task to show that a single planner of this type can generate cooperative behavior using task allocation, direct communication, and signaling, as appropriate.
- Mar 07 2013 cs.AI arXiv:1303.1491v1We describe a method for time-critical decision making involving sequential tasks and stochastic processes. The method employs several iterative refinement routines for solving different aspects of the decision making problem. This paper concentrates on the meta-level control problem of deliberation scheduling, allocating computational resources to these routines. We provide different models corresponding to optimization problems that capture the different circumstances and computational strategies for decision making under time constraints. We consider precursor models in which all decision making is performed prior to execution and recurrent models in which decision making is performed in parallel with execution, accounting for the states observed during execution and anticipating future states. We describe algorithms for precursor and recurrent models and provide the results of our empirical investigations to date.
- Feb 21 2013 cs.AI arXiv:1302.4971v1Markov decision problems (MDPs) provide the foundations for a number of problems of interest to AI researchers studying automated planning and reinforcement learning. In this paper, we summarize results regarding the complexity of solving MDPs and the running time of MDP solution algorithms. We argue that, although MDPs can be solved efficiently in theory, more study is needed to reveal practical algorithms for solving large problems quickly. To encourage future research, we sketch some alternative methods of analysis that rely on the structure of MDPs.
- Jan 31 2013 cs.AI arXiv:1301.7381v1We investigate the use of temporally abstract actions, or macro-actions, in the solution of Markov decision processes. Unlike current models that combine both primitive actions and macro-actions and leave the state space unchanged, we propose a hierarchical model (using an abstract MDP) that works with macro-actions only, and that significantly reduces the size of the state space. This is achieved by treating macroactions as local policies that act in certain regions of state space, and by restricting states in the abstract MDP to those at the boundaries of regions. The abstract MDP approximates the original and can be solved more efficiently. We discuss several ways in which macro-actions can be generated to ensure good solution quality. Finally, we consider ways in which macro-actions can be reused to solve multiple, related MDPs; and we show that this can justify the computational overhead of macro-action generation.
- Many applications require that we learn the parameters of a model from data. EM is a method used to learn the parameters of probabilistic models for which the data for some of the variables in the models is either missing or hidden. There are instances in which this method is slow to converge. Therefore, several accelerations have been proposed to improve the method. None of the proposed acceleration methods are theoretically dominant and experimental comparisons are lacking. In this paper, we present the different proposed accelerations and try to compare them experimentally. From the results of the experiments, we argue that some acceleration of EM is always possible, but that which acceleration is superior depends on properties of the problem.
- Jan 24 2013 cs.AI arXiv:1301.6720v1Solving partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) is highly intractable in general, at least in part because the optimal policy may be infinitely large. In this paper, we explore the problem of finding the optimal policy from a restricted set of policies, represented as finite state automata of a given size. This problem is also intractable, but we show that the complexity can be greatly reduced when the POMDP and/or policy are further constrained. We demonstrate good empirical results with a branch-and-bound method for finding globally optimal deterministic policies, and a gradient-ascent method for finding locally optimal stochastic policies.
- Reactive (memoryless) policies are sufficient in completely observable Markov decision processes (MDPs), but some kind of memory is usually necessary for optimal control of a partially observable MDP. Policies with finite memory can be represented as finite-state automata. In this paper, we extend Baird and Moore's VAPS algorithm to the problem of learning general finite-state automata. Because it performs stochastic gradient descent, this algorithm can be shown to converge to a locally optimal finite-state controller. We provide the details of the algorithm and then consider the question of under what conditions stochastic gradient descent will outperform exact gradient descent. We conclude with empirical results comparing the performance of stochastic and exact gradient descent, and showing the ability of our algorithm to extract the useful information contained in the sequence of past observations to compensate for the lack of observability at each time-step.
- Sampling is an important tool for estimating large, complex sums and integrals over high dimensional spaces. For instance, important sampling has been used as an alternative to exact methods for inference in belief networks. Ideally, we want to have a sampling distribution that provides optimal-variance estimators. In this paper, we present methods that improve the sampling distribution by systematically adapting it as we obtain information from the samples. We present a stochastic-gradient-descent method for sequentially updating the sampling distribution based on the direct minization of the variance. We also present other stochastic-gradient-descent methods based on the minimizationof typical notions of distance between the current sampling distribution and approximations of the target, optimal distribution. We finally validate and compare the different methods empirically by applying them to the problem of action evaluation in influence diagrams.
- Most reinforcement learning methods operate on propositional representations of the world state. Such representations are often intractably large and generalize poorly. Using a deictic representation is believed to be a viable alternative: they promise generalization while allowing the use of existing reinforcement-learning methods. Yet, there are few experiments on learning with deictic representations reported in the literature. In this paper we explore the effectiveness of two forms of deictic representation and a naïve propositional representation in a simple blocks-world domain. We find, empirically, that the deictic representations actually worsen learning performance. We conclude with a discussion of possible causes of these results and strategies for more effective learning in domains with objects.
- Jun 27 2012 cs.AI arXiv:1206.5928v1We apply decision theoretic techniques to construct non-player characters that are able to assist a human player in collaborative games. The method is based on solving Markov decision processes, which can be difficult when the game state is described by many variables. To scale to more complex games, the method allows decomposition of a game task into subtasks, each of which can be modelled by a Markov decision process. Intention recognition is used to infer the subtask that the human is currently performing, allowing the helper to assist the human in performing the correct task. Experiments show that the method can be effective, giving near-human level performance in helping a human in a collaborative game.
- Jun 21 2012 cs.AI arXiv:1206.5249v1The ways in which an agent's actions affect the world can often be modeled compactly using a set of relational probabilistic planning rules. This paper addresses the problem of learning such rule sets for multiple related tasks. We take a hierarchical Bayesian approach, in which the system learns a prior distribution over rule sets. We present a class of prior distributions parameterized by a rule set prototype that is stochastically modified to produce a task-specific rule set. We also describe a coordinate ascent algorithm that iteratively optimizes the task-specific rule sets and the prior distribution. Experiments using this algorithm show that transferring information from related tasks significantly reduces the amount of training data required to predict action effects in blocks-world domains.
- In this article, we work towards the goal of developing agents that can learn to act in complex worlds. We develop a probabilistic, relational planning rule representation that compactly models noisy, nondeterministic action effects, and show how such rules can be effectively learned. Through experiments in simple planning domains and a 3D simulated blocks world with realistic physics, we demonstrate that this learning algorithm allows agents to effectively model world dynamics.
- Hidden Markov models (HMMs) and partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) provide useful tools for modeling dynamical systems. They are particularly useful for representing the topology of environments such as road networks and office buildings, which are typical for robot navigation and planning. The work presented here describes a formal framework for incorporating readily available odometric information and geometrical constraints into both the models and the algorithm that learns them. By taking advantage of such information, learning HMMs/POMDPs can be made to generate better solutions and require fewer iterations, while being robust in the face of data reduction. Experimental results, obtained from both simulated and real robot data, demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.
- Cooperative games are those in which both agents share the same payoff structure. Value-based reinforcement-learning algorithms, such as variants of Q-learning, have been applied to learning cooperative games, but they only apply when the game state is completely observable to both agents. Policy search methods are a reasonable alternative to value-based methods for partially observable environments. In this paper, we provide a gradient-based distributed policy-search method for cooperative games and compare the notion of local optimum to that of Nash equilibrium. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method experimentally in a small, partially observable simulated soccer domain.
- Mar 05 2001 cs.LG arXiv:cs/0103003v1In order for an agent to perform well in partially observable domains, it is usually necessary for actions to depend on the history of observations. In this paper, we explore a \it stigmergic approach, in which the agent's actions include the ability to set and clear bits in an external memory, and the external memory is included as part of the input to the agent. In this case, we need to learn a reactive policy in a highly non-Markovian domain. We explore two algorithms: SARSA(\lambda), which has had empirical success in partially observable domains, and VAPS, a new algorithm due to Baird and Moore, with convergence guarantees in partially observable domains. We compare the performance of these two algorithms on benchmark problems.
- May 02 1996 cs.AI arXiv:cs/9605103v1This paper surveys the field of reinforcement learning from a computer-science perspective. It is written to be accessible to researchers familiar with machine learning. Both the historical basis of the field and a broad selection of current work are summarized. Reinforcement learning is the problem faced by an agent that learns behavior through trial-and-error interactions with a dynamic environment. The work described here has a resemblance to work in psychology, but differs considerably in the details and in the use of the word ``reinforcement.'' The paper discusses central issues of reinforcement learning, including trading off exploration and exploitation, establishing the foundations of the field via Markov decision theory, learning from delayed reinforcement, constructing empirical models to accelerate learning, making use of generalization and hierarchy, and coping with hidden state. It concludes with a survey of some implemented systems and an assessment of the practical utility of current methods for reinforcement learning.