The Unsupervised Reinforcement Studying Benchmark – The Berkeley Synthetic Intelligence Analysis Weblog



Reinforcement Studying (RL) is a robust paradigm for fixing many issues of curiosity in AI, similar to controlling autonomous automobiles, digital assistants, and useful resource allocation to call a number of. We’ve seen over the past 5 years that, when supplied with an extrinsic reward operate, RL brokers can grasp very complicated duties like enjoying Go, Starcraft, and dextrous robotic manipulation. Whereas large-scale RL brokers can obtain gorgeous outcomes, even one of the best RL brokers right this moment are slender. Most RL algorithms right this moment can solely clear up the one process they have been educated on and don’t exhibit cross-task or cross-domain generalization capabilities.

A side-effect of the narrowness of right this moment’s RL techniques is that right this moment’s RL brokers are additionally very knowledge inefficient. If we have been to coach AlphaGo-like brokers on many duties every agent would doubtless require billions of coaching steps as a result of right this moment’s RL brokers don’t have the capabilities to reuse prior information to unravel new duties extra effectively. RL as we all know it’s supervised – brokers overfit to a selected extrinsic reward which limits their means to generalize.



To this point, probably the most promising path towards generalist AI techniques in language and imaginative and prescient has been by means of unsupervised pre-training. Masked informal and bi-directional transformers have emerged as scalable strategies for pre-training language fashions which have proven unprecedented generalization capabilities. Siamese architectures and extra not too long ago masked auto-encoders have additionally develop into state-of-the-art strategies for reaching quick downstream process adaptation in imaginative and prescient.

If we imagine that pre-training is a robust strategy in direction of growing generalist AI brokers, then it’s pure to ask whether or not there exist self-supervised targets that might permit us to pre-train RL brokers. Not like imaginative and prescient and language fashions which act on static knowledge, RL algorithms actively affect their very own knowledge distribution. Like in imaginative and prescient and language, illustration studying is a vital side for RL as properly however the unsupervised downside that’s distinctive to RL is how brokers can themselves generate attention-grabbing and numerous knowledge trough self-supervised targets. That is the unsupervised RL downside – how can we be taught helpful behaviors with out supervision after which adapt them to unravel downstream duties rapidly?

Unsupervised RL is similar to supervised RL. Each assume that the underlying atmosphere is described by a Markov Choice Course of (MDP) or a Partially Noticed MDP, and each goal to maximise rewards. The principle distinction is that supervised RL assumes that supervision is offered by the atmosphere by means of an extrinsic reward whereas unsupervised RL defines an intrinsic reward by means of a self-supervised process. Like supervision in NLP and imaginative and prescient, supervised rewards are both engineered or offered as labels by human operators that are onerous to scale and restrict the generalization of RL algorithms to particular duties.


On the Robotic Studying Lab (RLL), we’ve been taking steps towards making unsupervised RL a believable strategy towards growing RL brokers able to generalization. To this finish, we developed and launched a benchmark for unsupervised RL with open-sourced PyTorch code for 8 main or common baselines.

The Unsupervised Reinforcement Studying Benchmark (URLB)

Whereas a wide range of unsupervised RL algorithms have been proposed over the previous couple of years, it has been inconceivable to check them pretty resulting from variations in analysis, environments, and optimization. Because of this, we constructed URLB which gives standardized analysis procedures, domains, downstream duties, and optimization for unsupervised RL algorithms

URLB splits coaching into two phases – a protracted unsupervised pre-training section adopted by a brief supervised fine-tuning section. The preliminary launch contains three domains with 4 duties every for a complete of twelve downstream duties for analysis.


Most unsupervised RL algorithms recognized thus far may be labeled into three classes – knowledge-based, data-based, and competence-based. Data-based strategies maximize the prediction error or uncertainty of a predictive mannequin (e.g. Curiosity, Disagreement, RND), data-based strategies maximize the variety of noticed knowledge (e.g. APT, ProtoRL), competence-based strategies maximize the mutual data between states and a few latent vector sometimes called the “ability” or “process” vector (e.g. DIAYN, SMM, APS).

Beforehand these algorithms have been carried out utilizing totally different optimization algorithms (Rainbow DQN, DDPG, PPO, SAC, and so on). Consequently, unsupervised RL algorithms have been onerous to check. In our implementations we standardize the optimization algorithm such that the one distinction between numerous baselines is the self-supervised goal.


We carried out and launched code for eight main algorithms supporting each state and pixel-based observations on domains based mostly on the DeepMind Management Suite.


By standardizing domains, analysis, and optimization throughout all carried out baselines in URLB, the result’s a primary direct and honest comparability between these three various kinds of algorithms.


Above, we present combination statistics of fine-tuning runs throughout all 12 downstream duties with 10 seeds every after pre-training on the goal area for 2M steps. We discover that presently data-based strategies (APT, ProtoRL) and RND are the main approaches on URLB.

We’ve additionally recognized a variety of promising instructions for future analysis based mostly on benchmarking present strategies. For instance, competence-based exploration as a complete underperforms knowledge and knowledge-based exploration. Understanding why that is the case is an attention-grabbing line for additional analysis. For extra insights and instructions for future analysis in unsupervised RL, we refer the reader to the URLB paper.

Unsupervised RL is a promising path towards growing generalist RL brokers. We’ve launched a benchmark (URLB) for evaluating the efficiency of such brokers. We’ve open-sourced code for each URLB and hope this allows different researchers to rapidly prototype and consider unsupervised RL algorithms.

Paper: URLB: Unsupervised Reinforcement Studying Benchmark
Michael Laskin*, Denis Yarats*, Hao Liu, Kimin Lee, Albert Zhan, Kevin Lu, Catherine Cang, Lerrel Pinto, Pieter Abbeel, NeurIPS, 2021, these authors contributed equally



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