On the Importance of Hyperparameter Optimization for Model-based Reinforcement Learning
Proceedings of The 24th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 130:4015-4023, 2021.
Model-based Reinforcement Learning (MBRL) is a promising framework for learning control in a data-efficient manner. MBRL algorithms can be fairly complex due to the separate dynamics modeling and the subsequent planning algorithm, and as a result, they often possess tens of hyperparameters and architectural choices. For this reason, MBRL typically requires significant human expertise before it can be applied to new problems and domains. To alleviate this problem, we propose to use automatic hyperparameter optimization (HPO). We demonstrate that this problem can be tackled effectively with automated HPO, which we demonstrate to yield significantly improved performance compared to human experts. In addition, we show that tuning of several MBRL hyperparameters dynamically, i.e. during the training itself, further improves the performance compared to using static hyperparameters which are kept fix for the whole training. Finally, our experiments provide valuable insights into the effects of several hyperparameters, such as plan horizon or learning rate and their influence on the stability of training and resulting rewards.